About Me

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I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother.  Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing.  Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.

Surviving the Valley Series

Surviving the Valley Series
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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Book update

Before I give an update on my books, let me start with some confessions of a first time author. Though I don't regret anything about publishing my first book because I count it as a completely new learning experience, here are some things that I could have done better or differently.

  • I acted a bit overzealously. I think I was so surprised that I actually wrote a whole book that I just wanted to get our story out there--fast. I held so much inside from our experience, and writing a book about it helped me to finally share that entire experience with others.
  • I didn't count the cost. Self-publishing can be expensive. I had enough money in the bank to get my book out there, but I didn't count the cost of a professional editor or the cost of self-marketing (with my time or money). But I didn't want to give up my rights to my poetry, so self-publishing seemed to be my only option. 
  • My title was too long.
  • My cover doesn't draw your attention.  It's just pretty. 
  • I didn't attend a writer's group, so I didn't have a clue how to self-edit. There's so much more to editing than just using proper grammar.
  • I wrote extensively in passive voice, and I used long paragraphs.
  • I didn't catch a few typos, which now annoy the heck out of me.
  • I spelled Monserrate wrong, the mountain where the book ends.
  • I didn't leave any way for the reader to connect with me, especially since I didn't use my last name.
  • I didn't properly launch the book or do any preadvertising.
  • I didn't include Scripture, the very thing that helped me keep moving forward when I wanted to curl up in my bed and hide from the world.
So, I say all that to explain why a revised version of my first book will be coming out soon, several months ahead of that second book everyone is asking for. I am happy to say that I corrected a lot of those "mishaps" from my first publishing experience.
  • I took my time. Patience is a virtue, right? I am not in a big hurry, so there should be fewer mistakes in the process.
  • I counted the cost. I know more what's expected of me now and what kind of price is attached (time-wise and money-wise). I am still self-publishing, but I am working with a new publishing company who is helping me fill in the gaps that I might otherwise overlook. I love the mission behind the company, so I am honored to have their name attached to my book.
  • The book will have a new title (one they have not yet chosen or revealed to me yet).
  • The book will have a new cover (the ones they are looking at definitely draw more attention and emotion).
  • I have attended a writer's group for over two years now, so I am much more educated on self-editing. Plus two editors have worked with me.
  • I use much less passive voice and now include more dialogue to get you in the moment, to help you enter the scene rather than just my head.
  • I changed those typos that bugged me.
  • I spelled Monserrate correctly.
  • I will use my full name so the reader can connect with me later.
  • I will properly launch both books, though I'm still struggling on how to launch the first book since I'm sure many people will be confused about which book it is. I also have a great company to advertise the books along with me.
  • It's full of Scripture. I know this might offend some readers and turn some off, but my purpose is to draw the readers closer to Christ as they wrestle through their own faith, not to attract as many readers as possible. The book is incomplete without it.
The last I heard, the revised edition of the first book will come out this coming March, and the second book will follow several months later sometime in the summer. Stay tuned. As I know more, I will share!

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