After writing Part One and Part Two so many years ago, I revised and updated these two posts after noticing readers were still finding and reading them. Honestly, I don’t know why I wrote this timeline for my first self-published book. However, writing this all out and reading the journey again, I know it was therapeutic. I guess that says it all.
Part Two – The Journey – the Howdy, Ma’am Timeline.
Part One left off at September 2011 after I sat down to finish writing the book. Part Two covers another fifteen months. What a journey.
- October— On October 4th I became a widow instead of a divorcee. This news brought a deep, heart wrenching pain. To distract myself, I dove into this book and barely came up for air the rest of the month.
- October— Somehow I kept at it. A week before NaNoWriMo 2011 began, Howdy, Ma’am was finished. I repeat, Finished. It gave me time to plot out a new story for 2011. I don’t know where the idea came from, or how I could think of creating anything new, but once again writing became my solace.
- November — My plan was to set the manuscript aside until after Nano and give me a month away from it before tackling another revision and edit. NaNo came and went as did November.
- December— I continued with the Nano 2011 novel, wanting to get to a certain point before setting it aside.
- 2012— Then the unexpected happened—this time positive. I got the rights back to Visions of Enchantment. I was so thrilled I started revising it right away, but Howdy, Ma’am pestered me from the inner sanction of my mind. It must be where my muse lives.
- The next thing I knew, I attempted to work on both books. Lo and behold, within a couple months I acquired the rights back to Enchantment’s Embrace, Book Two. Now what? I had three huge completed books to revise. Working on two at the same time drove me nutty, and I had to make a decision.
- That decision was to get busy on Howdy, Ma’am and do nothing else until The End. So, I started down the path of editing and revising again. After the first run through I put it aside for a week. But the cowboy called me back in less than a week, and I diligently worked on that book. Don’t ask how many edits and revisions it went through because I don’t know, but let’s say many, and we can add a capital “M” to many. The time had come to order a different book cover.
- By the time the story was finished and took shape, I had fallen in love with the characters and the story. UPDATE: The series now wears its third round of new covers.
- June— I posted on Facebook that I needed an editor. I think it was fate to find a wonderful cover designer, and then a “super awesome” editor, too.
- I couldn’t make the book any better on my own. I know the editor I chose put her heart and soul into this book to make it shine. What a journey! Do you think I knew anything about Track Changes with the first book. Hahahaha… Hardly. More learning took place. At least my editor didn’t laugh at me to my face.
- July— I was never satisfied with chapter one, two, and three, and told my editor I wanted to rework them. She asked if I had considered a prologue. I had, but only with a brief thought. Well, I added a prologue.
- August— I received the first thirteen chapters back from my editor. Finished them. In the last week of August, I received the rest of the edited manuscript back, worked on it, and sent it back for the second round of edits.
- September— Started writing the second book in the series.
- October— When the second round of edits came back for Howdy, Ma’am, I fixed editor suggestions, proofread, proofread, and proofread. I cut almost a thousand words. Oh, wait, I probably wasn’t supposed to do that.
- October 31st— Sent back the last round of edits. Last?? Oh, look! In time for another NaNoWriMo
- November 1st— NaNoWriMo 2012—NaNo Rebel here I come! Instead of starting something brand new, I continued working on book two.
- November 23rd — Trip to the ER. (Another story)
- November 25th (I think) The second book reached 50 thousand words, and I kept writing until the end of the month.
- November 29th— Received the FINAL edits back from my wonderfully talented editor. Couldn’t open the document for a couple days because I didn’t feel well.
- December 2rd— Okay, I opened the document and did what I had to do to finalize the changes. Still not feeling well.
- December 5th— FINISHED! I said FINISHED the edits. Took a break and then started reading from the beginning.
- December — Tweaked the Front and Back Matter. Who knew how to create back matter? Not me.
- December 9th — Looked into ISBNs and Copyright information.
- December — Talked to a formatter.
- December 18 — COMPUTER CRASHED! Ekkk. No! Not now… NOT NOW! Weird, but my computer worked again. I hate that blue screen.
- Sent the book to a formatter. Deep Breath. Okay, I need another deep breath, oh, and a couple long exhales, too.
- December 20th — All three formats came back from the formatter. Kindle, ePub, and Smashwords.
- December 21st — Uploaded to Smashwords first. Little did I know, I chose the most difficult retailer to upload to, but my formatter at the time was the queen of Smashwords formatting. Draft2Digital wasn’t available yet.
- Bravery took over, and I uploaded to Amazon KDP, too!
- December 21st PUBLISHED.
- As tough as it had been during the last year, I had finally found my niche. As Velia Armano, my feisty heroine in Howdy, Ma’am would say, “La vita e bella”. (Life is beautiful.) Honest.
Now, go get your copies!
Author Note Update:
This book (and series) has been through many more changes and revisions since first published, which includes new book covers. Years ago, I removed the Prologue as part of a major major revision. They’re due for another updated revision. Plus, two more books have been added to the series. You may still see old covers in older posts I haven’t updated yet.
As for me? I’m still writing and reminiscing. ~MJ
2 thoughts on “Timeline Part Two, The Journey of a Book”
Pingback: Howdy, Ma’am– The Journey Part One | A Walk With Words
You set yourself a hard task Mary J putting yourself under so much pressure with everything you’ve done, including the NaNoWriMo. Congratulations on everything achieved. I hope you’re feeling better now and that you’re able to take it a little easier in the New Year.x Hugs