When Can I Read Your Book?

My writing buddies.

My writing buddies.

Congratulations to Judy Christie. Her book Wreath is on the short list as a finalist for the “INSPY” award. Also deserving of recognition and praise is Jamie Chavez (my editor) who was the editor for Wreath. I appreciate Judy introducing me to Jamie.  My tip of the week for writers is to visit Jamie’s blog at www.jamiechavez.com  and check out her tab for Services. You’ll see a tab For Writers and you too can benefit from her expertise.

Now that my friends know that I’ve written two books, the big question is “When will we get to read your books?” It will be a long time. First there’s editing which is more than grammar and punctuation. Having a coma in the wrong place is the least of my worries. What I want from an editor is a critique on the overall story. Does it flow? Where is it boring or slow? Does the first chapter grab the reader’s attention? I expect my editor to point out where more description is needed, more drama, if the book comes to a climax in the right place and whether or not the ending is satisfying and memorable. I’ve attempted to delete all the junk words (well, just, truth be told, etc.) I’m sure I’ve missed many. Once Jamie has finished with her editorial notes and I re-write then I’ll be willing to share my work with a few trusted friends for comments. The purpose of sharing with trusted friends is not to seek praise. The purpose is for them to give an honest critiques. I’m looking for feedback on how to improve the book. At that point I’ll return my manuscript to Jamie for another edit and she’ll make more comments and suggestions for editing. I’ll do my best to put the final polish on the book and at that point, I’ll seek and agent. This could be another long process. Once I secure agent, it will be up to the agent to sell the manuscript. This could be a long process. If or when the book is sold, it will be edited by the publisher’s editors. It could take up to a year or two after a book is sold before it’s published. You’ll understand many writers give up. I won’t give up but I have no plans to leave my day job at the library because I love it. I write for the pleasure it gives me. I don’t know if I’m good writer. I may never know but I’m still a writer and that makes me happy.


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About shelia@sheliastovall.com

Shelia Stovall is a Southern, small-town librarian, and has an understanding of what women like to read. She is a member of ACFW and is currently the Treasurer of the Middle Tennessee ACFW Chapter. Shelia is a member of the Ky. Public Library Association and the American Library Association. Her short story, The Barber’s Sanctuary, won the fiction division of Kentucky Monthly’s sixth annual Writer’s Showcase in the November 2013 issue. Shelia is a weekly columnist for the Citizen-Times, based in Scottsville, Ky. Shelia’s Southern, small-town roots have given her an understanding of community and women's friendships. Her writing deals with difficult contemporary issues, but there’s always a thread of hope amid the calamity. Shelia is passionate about African missions and has traveled to Africa annually for the past four years. Community service is also important to Shelia, and she has volunteered as a crew chief for five years at Camp Habitat, (a Christian youth service camp that partners with Habitat for Humanity).

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