I’m embarrassed how long I’ve been gone, but work has been all-consuming for a few months.
I work for Gannett newspapers, editing and monitoring the wire services for 40+ newspapers. The idea is that by having a group responsible for wire copy that everyone can use, that allows local copy editors to spend more time making sure the local stories are well-edited.
We were in startup mode during the spring and I’m in charge of the group, so I wanted to make sure we got off to a great start. That required a lot of extra hours and coming home too tired to think about writing.
But things are getting back to normal, which means I have weekends back — so, where were we?
The bad news: I havent had time to write since February.
The good news: 67 pages of “Finding Grace,” the sequel to Signs and Wonders, are done.
The other good news: I’m going to get back into a regular writing schedule.
What does that mean? Hard to say. I have no idea how long “Finding Grace” will be. Definitely not 400 pages, but probably not 120, either.
We’ll get there when we get there, as your parents used to say. But at least we’re moving again, right?
P.s. The book is FREE today at Amazon. Tell a friend who has a Kindle or an iPad?
I wrapped up chapter five today, which was a good feeling. So far this is coming together more smoothly than the first novel. The chapters are more “book” length — although what that means is evolving in the eBook era.
So I’m 55 pages in and the beta readers are getting their first chapters tonight. But I couldn’t tell you yet how many pages it will have at the end. Hopefully more than 120, because the most common complaint about book one is that it ended too soon.
But I’m not the kind of writer to overstay my welcome when I’m telling a story. The worst mistake we can make is to bore you, just so we can say we reached a magical number of pages that qualifies us as a “real” author.
Came up a little short on becoming a finalist for the Kairos Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays. Can’t say I’m surprised — the screenplay didn’t have all of the improvements I made to the story when I wrote the novel. I’ll go back and do a revision before the 2013 contest and give it another go!
Signs and Wonders has its origins as a screenplay, which today has been named a semifinalist for the Kairos Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays. (FYI: If you go the website, you’ll see the screenplay listed under my real name. The novel is published under my pen name.)
This is the biggest competition (by far) for screenplays about faith. There’s very generous prizes for the three finalists, a trip to Los Angeles for a black-tie ceremony, and the chance to meet a bunch of people who can turn your screenplay into a film.
Who knows what will happen, but being named a semifinalist allows me to dream of the possibilities for the next few weeks
We own a 1918 bungalow and one of the things we love about it is the front porch. It’s enclosed and has eight windows and a screen door that’s about 80 percent glass. The house is set back enough from the street that the noise isn’t bad and we don’t feel like we’re on display for our neighbors. It’s a great spot to sit and read or enjoy a glass of wine. Harper, our dog, loves to rest her chin on the pneumatic piston for the screen door and gaze out at the street. The cats like to sit in the window or nap in the sunny spots. Continue reading
(Cue The Beatles song.)
First, here’s the cover (which you’ve seen) and the back (which you haven’t.)
Signs And Wonders Paperback Cover
I thought about including text on the back, but in the end I liked it with just the photograph. Ronnell Porter, who did a great job on the e-book cover, also handled the paperback.
I’m using Amazon’s CreateSpace print-on-demand service to offer the paperback. (Twenty years ago, even the idea of this would seem farfetched.) CreateSpace makes it incredibly easy — the set-up is easy to use and just takes a few minutes. If you have an e-book I highly recommend giving it a try.
Now, the good news. I’m able to offer the paperback for just $3.99. The minimum price Amazon would let me sell it on their site was $3.77, but I thought it would look weird if I priced it at that. So it’s $3.99. With a little luck it will be available next week.
I think my profit from each paperback sale is 13 cents, even less than what I’m making from each e-book sale. But that’s not the point of “Signs and Wonders.” I just want to reach as wide an audience as possible, hoping they will be willing to spend $2.99 for the sequel when it comes out next year.
UPDATE (9 a.m. Monday): That was fast. Just got an email from CreateSpace saying the proof was ready to order.
I’ve started working with Amazon’s Create Space, a print on demand system that will allow me to offer a paperback version of “Signs and Wonders.” I’ve also ordered up a higher-resolution version of the cover for the paperback. Continue reading
I’m writing about them today over at Paula Wiseman’s blog.
Filed under On writing, pets
Long before John Newton wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace,” he was a pretty despicable man. He was a troublemaker as a sailor. He participated in the slave trade. As he put it:
“How industrious is Satan served. I was formerly one of his active undertemptors and had my influence been equal to my wishes I would have carried all the human race with me. A common drunkard or profligate is a petty sinner to what I was.”
But he eventually changed his ways and redeemed himself by writing one of the most influential hymns of all time. In the Methodist hymnal, it’s right there on page one.
Every redemption is a good one, naturally. But in storytelling, the most compelling redemptions are ones like Newton’s. If I was writing a screenplay about Newton’s life, it would be much more moving than if I was writing about someone who was born a good person and then lived a normal, good life. You’re more emotionally invested in Newton’s story because you want him to turn his life around and you’re happy when he indeed does.
That’s why Annie Grace, the main character in “Signs and Wonders,” is not a nice person when you meet her on page one. I guarantee that you will not like her. But I also guarantee that you will cheer her on as she starts to turn her life around.
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Thanks to everyone who has bought “Signs and Wonders” so far. You can find it at Apple’s iBooks, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.