Monday, July 31, 2017

Nose to the grindstone

I always remember seeing something, way before Facebook so maybe it was so old-fashioned as to be in the newspaper, but it said, “Put your nose to the grindstone, your shoulder to the wheel, and now try to work in that position.”

But that’s what I did today—nose to the grindstone. I finally, after much travail, got Amazon to approve the files for the cover and text of my forthcoming novel (launch September 7), Pigface and the Perfect Dog. So I had to proof the digital files. I got 40 pages done yesterday, and my project for today was to finish. Which I did. And sent the corrections off to the formatter.

It’s amazing what you see when the book is in print that you missed in manuscript. Humbles me every time. Some of the things I found: the, should be she; walked, should be talked; showoff, should be showdown; want, should be wanted. I had given a girl reddish-brown hair and then subsequently, several times, referred to her black hair. A character asked a question that had been answered pages earlier. And so it went. I made a list and sent them off.

But there were other issues, too deep and involved to change at this point. Changing them would have involved rewriting passages and pages, and that is not fair to the formatter. It also is a slippery slope. There comes a time you have to let go of a manuscript and accept that you’ve done the best you can. I imagine several of the “problems” I saw won’t bother a reader who is not as deep into the characters and story as I am. I hope so.

I’m proud of this book, for several reasons. I walked away from it a year ago, when my health first began to deteriorate. I think in my state then, lacking ambition, I couldn’t see my way to finish it. But in the late spring when I went back to it, I thought, Hey! This isn’t half bad. And I rather quickly wrote the remainder of it. That was maybe in April, and the fact that I’m just now getting files approved tells you that writing is just the beginning of the process.

There will be a cover reveal for Pigface on August 15, after which it will be available for pre-order on Amazon and, as quickly as I can get it posted, on several digital platforms. Official launch day is September 7, and there will be a signing on September 21. Stay tuned for all those details.

The Color of Fear represented my toe dip in the waters of publishing after a year out due to health problems. Pigface and the Perfect Dog is my full-blown comeback, and I’m excited about it for many reasons, including that I think it’s one of the best I’ve done. I’m telling readers, friends, anyone who will listen to read The Perfect Coed, first in the Oak Grove Mysteries, so you’ll know the characters when you read Pigface.

I talked to an old friend today, a woman in her nineties with whom I had not talked in too long, and I told her I was still writing. She said her body was giving way but her mind was still sharp, and I said we would both much rather have it that way. I am grateful that my writing keeps me involved, gives me a reason to get out of bed every morning. And I’m having such fun with it. Nose to the grindstone? Nope. It’s more like a walk in the park, a joyful one.


Carol Montague said...

I bought your first three Kelly O'Connell books when they were available, but that's all at the time. When Amazon emailed me about the release of The Color of Fear, I found the other 3 books (4-6) as well. Bought them all last night, and ended reading until 4 am. Yikes! I shouldn't have done that, and I'm not finished with Danger Comes Home yet. :P I love it!

judyalter said...

Thanks so much, Carol. YOu made my day! Mind if I quote you on my author page anonymously? Also do send me your email if you'd like to be on my mailing list.