I released my first novel today. The Witch’s Complement is released into the world and I hope everyone who reads it enjoys it.
How This Story Developed
I started writing this version of the novel three years ago. At the time, I was working full time, married with a three-year-old son, and just finished writing a novella during National Novel Writing Month. The novella I wrote needed tons of work, but I wanted to get back to writing the series that I’d dreamed about over the last ten years.
If you go back to my very first blog post from October 2010 (the very first one I deleted), you will find “Death of a Character.” I already wrote Jesi, the main character, into existence. But she wasn’t right. She wasn’t who she was supposed to be. So, I had to tear her down and rebuild her.
So Jesi changed from a psychic to a lawyer. Her power was the same, but now she didn’t have it under control. Now she didn’t grow up with it. And she is all the better for it. And reading over that blog from October 2010, I said I wanted to change her name. Well, that didn’t happen. I’m glad I stuck with Jesi.
I can’t tell you how happy I am to be on this journey of writing and sharing my imagination. And I have learned so much along the way. Of course, I have so much more to learn and new things to try.
So, let’s talk about the things I’ve learned
- I hate homophones. They are words that sound the same, have different meanings, and, more importantly, different spellings. In 2019 I went to a workshop and submitted the first 7,000 words from The Witch’s Complement. Did you know there are two different spellings of the world complement? I didn’t. I do now. Complement and compliment. It was super embarrassing, but I am glad it came to light during a workshop and now after I published.
Why do they have different spellings? Why do words have multiple meanings? It’s frustrating. In short, homophones are dumb. (I taught this to my 6-year-old.)
- EBooks rely on HTML for formatting. I used Calibre to format my novel (so if you see any issues with how the ebook is formatted let me know) and, seeing as the HTML portion of the only computer science/coding class I ever took was the only part that made sense, I saved money and have a decently formatted book.
- Editors are great. My editor gave me a box of commas I was missing from my original version.
- ARC readers are better. My Advanced Reader Group is the best. They found so many minor mistakes. Fixing them improved my book. A big THANKS to all my ARC readers.
- Author friends are great. I have been so fortunate to be a part of several author groups, where we help each other. I am so grateful for their help. The author community, especially the indie author community, is fantastic. They truly want everyone to succeed.
- Designers are amazing. I also have surprisingly little grasp of how to match colors. Does that green go with this green? No clue. So, designers are amazing and I need to remember this for the release of book 2.
- I owe most of my success to my family. My husband and son have offered me support and the time to write. My mom and sister have cheered me on. My sister read my work, offered constructive advice.
- I have forgotten what else I have learned. I know there is more, so I’ll end my list here (for now).
Where do I go from here?
Now I am editing the prequel that I hope to offer for free to any that want to read it. The title is The Wolf’s Bite and follows Alan’s friend Isaiah, how he became a werewolf and how Alan found out.
I’m also writing a novella for an anthology I’m involved in that should be released May 2022.
And don’t worry, I’ve written 20k on The Wolf’s Return. You will get Hayley’s story.
I hope y’all will follow me throughout my journey as an author and watch me grow as a writer. Thank you for all your kind words, support, critique, and love.