Another milestone on my writing journey. I just completed the eight draft of my latest novel, Illusion of Wings—actually it must be my ninth since I kept on going back to change things while I was writing out my query letters. I had to finally put my pen down and tell myself it was enough… no more editing. We’ll see. Is a novel ever really finished? In any case, I have time to tinker around with the manuscript. The publishers take forever, if at all, to respond. It takes six to eight months or more for them to get back to you. I had one contact me after almost five years—luckily it was to offer me a contract. That’s why I send out simultaneous query letters with the mention that I will advise them immediately of any changes in the status of my submission. But these publishers are flooded with new submissions every week. They need to take the time to properly access each manuscript––not an easy task with few employees and limited budgets. Illusion of Wings, is a working title. What I consider to be a suitable title might appear strange to a potential publisher. I have yet to imagine what the cover would look like––that’s certainly not my specialty. But I do have time to think about it now that I’ve started sending out submissions. I’ll be posting my main characters’ backstory soon and hope to get any comment you can spare. Here is a short blurb:
Ailis, a 17 year-old indentured servant, is desperate to get her freedom. But escaping her master in Louisiana of the 1750s could get her whipped, branded and placed in stocks. Her plans are put on hold when her master sells her to a Montreal merchant to pay off a debt. She sails from New Orleans on a large frigate disguised as a cabin boy where she’s able to use her skills as a healer to treat the sailors. Once In Montreal, she continues to use her medicines to help people while serving her demanding mistress. Her plans of escaping to freedom are rekindled when she befriends, Reine, a black slave who harbours the same dream as her. Not long after, she meets up with Phil, a sailor she met on the ship, and starts making plans to leave the fortified city. She discovers that both her master and her mistress are hiding a secret which, if exposed, can lead to their downfall. Is she willing to go against what she believes in to negotiate her freedom? When one of the servants under her care dies, she’s accused of murder and imprisoned. She must find a way to avoid the gallows—but at what price?
The ebook format of my novel, The Daughters’ Story, has been released at several vendors. Hopefully, that will help with the sales, but at the end of the day, the reviews, good and bad, will be the determining factor as to whether the book will survive. Putting it through an extravaganza of promotional stunts will give it visibility and with that, maybe a handful of willing readers, but if none of them bother to comment on what they read––not something that comes natural––the book will have had its moment of fame and slowly disappear.
As writers, we put our hearts out there, hoping someone will listen, feel, rethink life, get angry or throw the book across the room. We want to touch someone’s heart or hit a nerve. An emotional reaction indicates the book has changed a reader’s life in some way, and perhaps it happens, but if the reader never gives any feedback, the author misses out on how to use their writing to maintain that vital writer-reader connection.
I’ve done what I could for the novel and now… time to roll up my sleeves and focus on my latest work.
Moving along… the advanced reading copies are out and heading for those who will read and hopefully review my work. They might like it… or maybe hate it.
Too much back story… characters not credible… pace too slow… weak structure… ending too abrupt… I’ll have a panic attack trying to come up with what I did wrong.
But maybe they’ll connect to the main character, Nadine––fingers crossed––and forgive all the flaws in the story. Nadine is banished to a home for unwed mothers in 1950. She’s 15. Her baby daughter, whose father is shrouded in secrecy, is put up for adoption without her permission. Vowing to reunite one day with her daughter, she cuts all ties with her dysfunctional Irish and French-Canadian Catholic family whose past is cluttered with secrets, betrayals, incest and violence.
As writers, we are dependent on the reader’s reaction to our work. Some will enjoy the book and review––or not. Others will make sure to comment if they don’t like something about the story. Both positive and negative reviews help to make the book visible to others. Without reviews, the book disappears.
It should be released May 1st, but it’s available for pre-orders which will arrive at the end of March.
Finally… the rewrites (numerous) are completed, the cover has been crafted and my novel is now ready for pre-sale at the publisher’s site. Amazon will only publish in May but the books will be ready on the publisher’s shelves by the end of March. It’s been a long journey but the time has come to wish it Godspeed and let it go.
Nadine is banished to a home for unwed mothers in 1950. She’s 15. Her baby daughter, whose father is shrouded in secrecy, is put up for adoption without her permission. Vowing to reunite one day with her daughter, she cuts all ties with her dysfunctional Irish and French-Canadian Catholic family whose past is cluttered with secrets, betrayals, incest and violence.
It’s now October 1970 in Montreal. Following two FLQ kidnappings, Ottawa proclaims the War Measures Act and sends the army into Quebec. These staggering events indirectly bring about a reunion between Nadine and her daughter Lisette, now 20 years old and embittered after being bounced from one foster home to another. Eight months pregnant, Lisette and her partner Serge, who is close to the FLQ, need money and see Nadine as a possible source.
A family saga with World Wars I and II, the Great Depression and the October crisis as backdrop, The Daughters’ Story tells the unsung, yet intensely passionate, tale of women whose unquenchable need to belong drives them to survive and thrive despite cruel conditions.
Just discovered this review while browsing for middle-grade genres. I’m a bit late to see this since it appeared quite a while ago. Made me think that bits of us continue to exist beyond our mundane existence. We think by stepping out of a situation that it will cease to exist, but does it, or does the foot print we left behind take on its own life? That’s how Google has transformed our lives, our foot prints no longer disappear with the tide.
The road has been long and winding, but at long last my pre-teen novella, Culloo, has now been released in paperback format by Pemmican Publications. It’s a brand new cover, but the spirit of the story has remained intact.
Tala can’t wait to be thirteen; then no one better tell her what to do. Her nosey neighbor is always checking up on her, and now the Welfare Officer is knocking on her door again and her father isn’t home to answer. Tala only has a few hours to find her missing father before she and her brother, Dason, get placed in a foster home.
Her quest brings them to secluded woods where they discover that a group of bear poachers are responsible for their father’s disappearance. Can they survive the night alone in woods alive with hungry bears and angry hunters? Will she be able to find her father before the hunters do?
Her adventures bring her in contact with the legendary woodland characters: the pipe-smoking frog-like people and the giant ferocious black bird. These characters are a vivid part of her Mi’Kmaq ancestry, told and retold from one generation to another. They’ve always existed happily for her in stories, but now, faced with a real-life crisis, they’ve become surreal and grotesque? She must learn to trust the wisdom of her ancestors if she wants to succeed in her quest to reunite her family.