Good News

My novel is going to be published. Wooo-hoooo!

NeWest Press, a literary publisher based in Edmonton, has picked up my book. We’re looking at a 2016 release. Between now and then there’s still work to be done, including:

  • more editing.
  • cover design, layout, etc…
  • marketing plans.
  • clearing copyright for song lyrics (although I’ve already started that process and I don’t think it will be too tedious).

But I wasn’t really thinking about all that when I got off the phone with Paul Matwychuk, NeWest’s general manager. I was thinking, “Woo-hoo!” And “I should phone my mom.”

Right away my mom offered to throw me a party. She’s such a good person.

(Seriously, I’m glad she’s so supportive because although my novel isn’t about my family, people will probably think it is. And the main character’s mother is pretty flawed and, well, mean at times. Not at all like my own mother, by the way, who is very kind and generally diplomatic and mild-mannered.)

Writing is often a lonely, frustrating process. Sometimes the words flow, and it’s so wonderful that I just keep writing until 2 am. But more often it feels like hard work (still satisfying, but work). There have been times when I’ve been really disappointed in the quality of the writing in the book and wondered if I can really pull it off.

So it’s really wonderful to celebrate with friends. And as I looked around at the people at that party, I realized how supportive they’d been through the whole process. Edna Alford, my friend and mentor, saw the first fragment of that novel years ago and encouraged me to keep going. And she went through the manuscript twice, offering me guidance on what needed to be revised.

Other people read versions of the manuscript at different points, and some gave me crucial feedback that made it better.

And so, as I get ready to work with my NeWest board editor, Leslie Vermeer, I think I owe a big thanks to several people for the leg up. Not all could be at that first celebration, but I was thinking of them all the same.

Thank you Edna, Susan Swan (my mentor through Humber College), Corey Parmenter, Bill Kresowaty, Fred and Jackie Helgeton, Jacqueline Keller, Alexis Kienlen, Irene Zabytko. Thank you for the constructive comments.

And thank you to the other people I know who read the manuscript and said nice things about it. I’m slightly insecure about my own writing sometimes, so sincere compliments are really welcome.