IT’S MY PARTY!!!

Balloon manSISSSSSsssss, BOOM…blah?

It’s a bit of a pickle, this “MY BOOK HAS ARRIVED” business. No, I don’t mean the thrill of arrival, joyful elation, or the supreme sense of  ‘I love my pages till the end of time and beyond.’ That part is the real deal and most writers I know have a certain brand of super human diligence when it comes to carrying the torch solo across vats of bubbling lava if that’s what feels necessary to reach the reading masses. Hence SISSSSsssss BOOM over-the-moon euphoria.

Blah?

That’s when the generally mild-mannered, attempting to be courteous author, begins to worry that their potentially overzealous hoopla and carrying-on will eventually have the entire width and breadth of cyberspace drawing its collective shade, barring doors and windows against  the runabout court jester lunatic marauder chiming an endless chant of  MY BOOK, MY BOOK, YOUR KINGDOM FOR MY BOOK.

In The Beginning There Was A Page

Some writers can grow a book in weeks, months, a year or two, or if you’re me, years plus a bazillion. When it comes to writing, I’m the tortoise  not the hare. The jalopy not the roadster. In the time it takes my rough drafts to morph into a finished book, entire galaxies have vanished into black holes, nations crumbled,  certain snack cakes become extinct … It’s the sort of Rip Van Winkle effect that makes me especially prone to feelings of HAPPY, HAPPY, JOY JOY … THE HILLS ARE ALIVE … CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN … DOE RAE MEEEEEE, once the cover is on the book and all becomes right with the world.

But Wait! This Isn’t The End, It’s The Beginning

Release day. TODAY! This very instant. Crack of dawn until the pumpkin pulls up at the curb a second past midnight.And so starts my party. Where I fill the room with balloons, announce the grand arrival of my third novel, and pass around the entirely fat free virtual cake. And hopefully, just hopefully you won’t leave feeling as if you’ve been violently slammed by a freight train–but rather, the hapless victim of a hit and run driver that leaves you slightly dazed, a little foggy, yet mildly bruised wholly uninjured.

Just One Last Thing

On the chance you’re ever forced to pick it out of a lineup, this is my book:

PFM-FotoFlexer_Photo

And this is what it’s about:

She considers telling him the truth—that she isn’t the person he thinks she is—but in the end she doesn’t. To say something is to potentially say everything. And it is simply too late… The emotionally fractured casualty of a hideous childhood tragedy, Catherine has at last found her happy-ever-after in the person of Grayson Barnett, and it is the promise of a freshly polished future that compels her to bury the poisonous trail of her past beneath the purposeful lies and omissions she offers her new husband. But now, with the inherent shame of her traumatic history secreted away and losing hold, Cat finds herself increasingly troubled as Gray falls into an erratic pattern of late night wanderings through the house, painting the bare walls with extravagant murals. And only when the unthinkable happens—a devastating blow which leaves her broken and spiraling—and an unexpected arrival on her doorstep, bearing a cache of impossible revelations—is Cat forced to question whether the man she so desperately loves is in truth a stranger and their beautiful life a gross falsehood constructed upon a foundation of lies.

That’s it. I’m leaving now. *Walks away. Stops. Turns. Glances back.” You know, those dancing shoes sure look good on you. Hope you don’t go dashing off before taking a spin around my dance floor.  Shots are on the house 😀

shots-2

 

Sitting pretty on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Painted-Memories-Barbara-Forte-Abate/dp/0692209344/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

 

Cleaning Up My Mess

Cleaning up my mess

Cleaning up my mess

NO PROBLEM, I GOT THIS
If I had a dollar for every time I rewrote or edited one of my novels before it went to press, I’d be sitting here like Scrooge McDuck counting my stacks of Gold Doubloons. I’m all about tidy perfectionism, particularly when it comes to stuff I put my name on. If three times is a charm, then three dozen assures spotless brilliance–right?

UM, WRONG
There’s a really good reason why even editors don’t edit their own work. Because when it comes to sentences we’ve raked over a bazillion times this side of Sunday, the brain has a quirky way of turning off the main switch when it comes to assessing the things it’s brought to life.

AVERTING A TRAGEDY
Although it’s been years now, I still recall certain early reviews heralding the release of my debut novel, The Secret of Lies–gorgeous and poetic–they arrived as if carried on the wings or angels. Golden morsels suddenly slamming to a jarring halt and leaning toward hostile when these same readers found themselves stumbling over typos and grammar homicide perpetrated by said author. Ouch. That stuff hurts, even more so since I myself was the boob providing the bullets for critics to load into their guns.

AND SO THE QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAIL
Or, in writerly terms, the hunt for the editor you surely NEED to find because this essential pied piper of prettified prose isn’t you. Seriously. It isn’t.

EENY MEENY MINY MO
…is absolutely not the right way to go about finding the perfect word-mate to comb through your brilliant creation. Make no mistake, you’re not only making an investment in your career, you’re pursuing a relationship, in which case it seems something of a romantic approach is in order. Get out there and mingle. Saunter through cyberspace and stop in at a few online writer hangouts. Pull up a keyboard and join in the chit-chat. Note those voices which most resonate. Collect recommendations from starry-eyed writers madly in love with their editors. Make more notes–mentally or on paper–just make them.

ONE SIZE FITS ALL? NOT QUITE, CINDERELLA
If what you’re looking for is a set of eyes to align your p’s & q’s, and sort your “then and than’s,” your task might prove less complicated. But me, I’m a romantic with a hankering for truelove. In writer speak, it means pining for an editor with knowledge, chutzpah, confidence, wisdom, and of supreme importance–someone who connects with my scribbling. A courtship? Yep, pretty much.

SNAGGING A WORD SHARK
I now fast forward to introduce the winner of my own carefully versed Dating Game–tah dah *shoots confetti–reloads–double shot*–Karen Sanderson, The Word Shark.

BEWARE OF CHEAP IMITATIONS
Seriously, that’s it. Beware of cheap imitations.

ENTER THE WORD SHARK
Certainly there are oodles of noodles and mighty word slayers, so how to choose wisely, Indiana Jones? For me it was a definite series of clicks heard round the world–or at least loud and clear within the vicinity of my head.

Sample edit: concise, professional–CLICK. Initial and subsequent correspondence: honest, wise, generous, prompt, and oftentimes hilarious (bonus points considering my general buffoon tendencies)–CLICK.  Timely edit-in-progress updates to soothe my anxious soul–CLICK. Essential nit-picky comments leading me to prune and  fine-tune the clumsy, clanky, scratchy bits from my pile of pages–CLICK. Suggestions, immediate reactions and impressions of plot twists and character motivation, aka exposing junk masquerading as literature–double CLICK. And the grand finale, an editorial letter wrapping it all together–strengthens, weakness, applause–multiple CLICKS.

SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED
Finished. My mess is now tidy and polished, and Painted From Memories is mere days away from release. The construction dust has settled and yet still here, lending support, cheerleading,  blowing-up balloons, ready to uncork the champagne, is my wildly cool new editor and aforementioned Word Shark. A gifted word whisperer who continues to step above and beyond–and then–beyond beyond.  Long term keeper–CLICK.

 

And you, what cha thinking? Have you found your dream editor? On the hunt for the perfect fit? Still wondering if you really even need one?