So sorry it took so long to post Part Two– The Journey– the Howdy, Ma’am Time Line. I couldn’t get it out when I had planned. All the better because I can put a “real” end to it now.
Part One left off at September 2011 after I sat down to finish writing the book. Part Two covers another fifteen months. Whew! What a journey.
- October— On October 4th I became a widow instead of a divorcee.
- 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 it aside until after Nano and that would 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. This will be a great story when finished, and it falls under the women’s fiction category.
- 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 rightaway, 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 was trying 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 began to drive me nutty and I had to make a decision.
- That decision was to get busy on Howdy, Ma’am and do nothing else until it was finished. 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’s been 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 time the story was finished and took shape, I had fallen in love with the characters and the story. My heroine had become such a big part of my life that I had to have a cover with her. My original cover had only a male. UPDATE: Brand-new covers in 2019.
- 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.
- Howdy, Ma’am was about as good as I could make it on my own. I know the editor I chose put her heart and soul into this book to make it shine. What a journey!
- 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. 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, 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 the sequel.
- November 23rd — Trip to the ER. (Another story)
- November 25th (I think) Reached 50 thousand words, and kept writing till 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. 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
- December 9th — Looked into ISBNs and Copyright information.
- December — Talked to a formatter.
- December 18 — COMPUTER CRASHED! Ekkk. No! Not now… Weird, but my computer worked after four BSOD. 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.
- December 21st — Uploaded to Smashwords first. This took a long time, but it was because of the size of the book cover. Still in review for Premium as we speak. Bravery took over, and I uploaded to Amazon KDP, too!
- December 21st PUBLISHED.
- As tough as it’s been the last year, I have 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 a copy!
Author Note Update:
This book (and series) has been through many more changes and revisions since first published, which includes new book covers in 2019. Plus, two more books have been added to the series, and a three-book boxed set. You may still see old covers in older posts I haven’t gotten to yet. Below are the new ones.
As for me? I’m celebrating because I have to do it all over again with the next book. Hey, Cowboy is now Available, too.