As an infrequent blogger, I haven’t been around my web pages lately. But rest-assured, I’ve been busy. Thanks to a writer’s grant from The Government of Prince Edward Island (I do have many reviewers who actually like my work), all sixteen of my titles are now available in paperback and ebook formats. Previously only two or three titles were available in both formats. They are easy to find on my website and on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. Some of the titles have yet to appear on the website but soon you’ll see them all.
In the decision to make all my ebooks available in paperback format, I decided to revisit each novel and do one last editing and revision pass. I also revised the inside front and back pages, my author biography and tightened up each novel summary. Book covers were also tweaked by talented cover artist Johnny Breeze and made much more visually explosive than before. Although Johnny has three jobs and works harder than almost anyone I know, he calls me “a brother from another mother” and put my cover designs as a priority.
The whole project was a four-month process that also involved painstaking proofreading, editing, rewriting, and even a few times when I threw my arms up in frustration and disappointment and proclaimed, “I hate editing.” Trust me, if you edited for eight hours a day for a solid four months you might say the same thing. But then I started to think. Without disappointment there can be no joy. It reminded me of a quote by Pascal Mercier, author of Night Train to Lisbon:
“Disappointment is considered bad. A thoughtless prejudice. How, if not through disappointment, should we discover what we have expected and hoped for? And where, if not in this discovery, should self-knowledge lie? So how could one gain clarity about oneself without disappointment? One could have the hope that he would become more real by reducing expectations, shrink to a hard, reliable core and thus be immune to the pain of disappointment. But how would it be to lead a life that banished every long, bold expectation, a life where there were only banal expectations like “the bus is coming”?”
Through the disappointment of revising twelve titles, there was a certain joy. Part of my disappointment came from the simple knowledge that my writing style when I started writing novels five years ago was nothing like it is today. Much more satisfied with where my storytelling ability is now, I initially wanted to dramatically rewrite dozens of chapters. To be sure, I did major rewrites on several chapters spread through many titles. But then a realization occurred to me. The books show an evolution of style, a polishing of skill, a honing of talent. Serious readers might want to see the evolution of a writing style. Hell, I even found it interesting to note, at least in my own mind, how far I’d come. That’s where the joy came in. With a smile, I thought, I’ll clean them up for crispness, glaring errors of fact, typos, and grammar. But I’m not about to go changing major elements of the novels; like inserting characters, changing main themes and sub-texts, things like that. Let the early works stand alone as a representation of a time period in the early career of an author.
Besides, not that I have hundreds of reviews, but the majority of them are four or five stars. These are readers who are not saying my writing has potential. They say it’s already there. They say I’m a proficient storyteller, writing tales that grab them, and make them want to keep going without a pause right to the finish line. If readers seem to like the early works the way they are, who am I to tell them anything different? And there is something to be said for letting go of a work of art, with all its imperfections (that others may consider perfections). Release it and move on to the next. So I’ve done that and I hope you enjoy the result. What is the next, you ask?
I recently returned from a three-month trip to the Dominican Republic where I was researching another novel. That, in conjunction with the twelve-novel reformatting project. I’m continuing my research but am also well into writing the novel. I’m moving along at a decent clip. On the next blog, I’ll reveal what the latest work-in-progress horror novel revolves around. I’ll give you a hint. It deals with a cult religion that over the past few years has exploded in popularity, becoming the fastest growing religion in the Americas. Some claim it’s evil and satanic, while others say adherence brings abundance, prosperity and can help in matters of the heart.