Monday, August 27, 2012

Full Manuscript Request!

Hi all,

Today I followed up with a query I sent in the beginning of the month to an agent who was looking for horror. I queried my dark fantasy - horror novel which is set in the Viking Age. It's a little bit of a historical fiction mixed with the lore of the Viking gods. I wrote it last year over five-six months, and this summer is my first time really sending it out to people.

So you can imagine I was excited when, based on a query with a 3 page synopsis and 5 sample pages, I managed to get a full request. That's impressive these days. Very.

Something about this request has me extra hopeful. I am really at an important crux in my life, so finding an agent right now would be huge and life-changing. I have worked very hard the past three years... and I would like to see my hard validated.

In other news, I am editing FLESH ENDED for publication with Dark Quest Books. My editor, Gretchen, worked hard on it and has made some great suggestions. It will probably take me until Oct. to finish fixing it up. I expect a 2013 release. (maybe March?)

I am also working on editing my urban fantasy novel for another agent who wanted to see it have another editing pass. She really liked the characters and plot.

To be totally honest, I'm feeling very close to landing an agent. Wish me luck.

The time is now. Write Makes Might!

Kevin James Breaux

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Flesh Ended Update

Hi all,

Today begins the final edit of FLESH ENDED, book three in the Soul Born Saga. I received the edits back from the editor yesterday. I may re-write the ending, and make some small changes to a scene or two. I expect the final word count will end up near 170K.

I will keep everyone posted on my progress. I will be taking my time with this one. I want it perfect.

Kevin James Breaux

Saturday, August 11, 2012

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the post-production Re-Edit

There is no substitute for hard work.” -Thomas Edison

Anyone who has talked to me about my first novel, SOUL BORN, knows I was not happy with the edit job.

Without giving all the gruesome details, the edit for Soul Born was late because the editor went "missing". So as the deadline for printing approached, a wave of panic spread from publisher to author and back. Justing thinking back to that mess stresses me out. It was a disaster. Nothing went as planned.

For the past two plus years I have felt, IMO, the edit was rushed and done by someone whose skill level was subpar for the publishing industry; albeit small press. (Sorry if you are reading this.) (Please understand, I have my flaws too.)

Let's be honest. Soul Born was my first book and written many years ago... and I will be the first to admit that the book was full of mistakes. BUT what are mistakes if you can't learn from them, right??? And I learned a lot from writing and having Soul Born published by small press.

In fact, I learn a ton of things from story to story and book to book.

One thing I have learned is to take control of my destiny instead of falling into black holes. So, when BLOOD DIVIDED was finished, I found my own editor to fix it up, and pitched her to the publisher. No, I was not using the Soul Born editor again. OH HELL NO.

So what happened? Well, Blood Divided's edit job was completed promptly and it was clear, concise and smart. I was so happy with the job done on Blood Divided, that I decided I should ask my new editor to re-read and re-edit Soul Born... at my cost. That was a few months ago. Since, and over the past two months, I have been going through the work slowly. I sit with it once or twice a week and make the corrections for maybe twenty pages tops. Just going slow. No rush...

I have to believe the publisher will re-release the new fixed up Soul Born as a 2nd printing (at least in e-book format) after FLESH ENDED is released in 2013... if not... well... I'll think of something. ;)

I'm glad I am doing this. I'm glad I am doing this. I tell myself.

Of course, having it re-edited meant having to face the facts. I always figured Soul Born had a few dozen mistakes, but no... no, no, no... I was wrong. There is several hundred mistakes that made it past the final editing to print. The unfortunate result of working with a small press publisher who does not proofread. (I found that out a few months ago, after Blood Divided was released) (Crazy! I know, right?)

I have had a lot of big time pros tell me it is okay if a book is released with a few mistakes. It happens, they say. Don't worry so much about it, let it go, they tell me. I try, but it's hard. I am a bit of a perfectionist and while many of those flubs in Soul Born are punctuation, which the average reader may not see, there are enough errors of the spelling and dropped word nature that I have, at times, become enraged. I'm an artist and sometimes artists gets so close to their work that they don't see the big glaring mistake on the page.

Breathe deep. Remind yourself of all the great reviews Soul Born has received. The awards it has won.

Looking at the old edits, I realized a lot of mistakes were made. The publisher's editor missed things. I missed things. Most importantly, I should have questioned the changes I was making, double checked them, and not so blindly followed. I was a rookie. I was a noob. I did not know better.

Granted, just about everything that could go wrong at one point has gone wrong with Soul Born, but I have fought to overcome it all and well... paid my dues.

I am trying my hardest to mark this down as another hard lesson learned.That was 2009. It's 2012 now. I have written four books since Soul Born and with each one I have grown as an author.

Is it healthy to go back to my first book, as I write my sixth? I'm not sure, but I want to polish it up and make it what it was always intended to be: a fun, epic fantasy novel with compelling characters that should delight lovers of the genre. I want the best for myself and the fans of my books.

...or maybe I'm just being too hard on myself.

Kevin James Breaux