In a bid to flex my stagnant writing muscles, today I’m going to confess my deep, dark, author secret—
I’ve never read copies of my own published books.
I’ve held them, hugged them, and handed them out, but the last time I read both Cloaked and Sonder Village, it was on a computer screen to approve the final galley copy before publication.
At first, I think it was because by the time the books launched, I was so sick of editing them through for errors that I had them memorized. Then months passed and I still couldn’t crack the spines. Now years have gone by, and it’s been built up so much in my head that I’m too scared.
I was at a different place in my life and in my writing career with these books. I like to think I’ve grown enough to look back with fresh eyes, but I am afraid of the cringe. Writers tend to be a finicky lot. We chase perfection and are frustrated when our own works do not measure up to the authors we idolize. The story I remember writing is not the story that will appear on the pages. I don’t think my ego can handle the blow right now. Pitching my current project has been particularly heart-wrenching and I have little enough forward momentum as it is, so I’m not sure if looking backward is the answer. Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough.
I’ve had enough space from high school to look back at these photos, at least! Here’s to celebrating how far we’ve come, and how much farther we must go.
Let me just add that this is such a surreal moment. The Wild Rose Press editorial team did an incredible job finalizing the manuscript, and the cover artist, Debbie Taylor, brought my vision to life.
As the Cloaked Shadow, Fawkes has made his career breaking into prisons for any contract with a large enough purse. He takes advantage of the kingdom’s impending revolution by playing both sides of the conflict. Each rescue contract he fulfills turns a tidy profit until he angers the wrong duke.
Charlotte is a criminal-in-training who yearns to crack her mentor’s guarded façade, but is unprepared to confront the depths of his dark past. As her sense of right and wrong blurs, Charlotte discovers just how far she will go for the Cloaked Shadow and the sacrifices he requires.
Now hunted throughout the land, Fawkes must face long-buried secrets in order to survive, but they could destroy him. Charlotte risks everything, including her heart, to set Fawkes on the path to redemption.
Will Charlotte have the strength to pull Fawkes into the light, or will she follow him into the shadows?
Why? We have been up in Washington state visiting family for the past few weeks! Now Conor is back east for a class while Baby W and I hang out a little bit longer. It has been almost two years since we traveled to our home state, so we have had a lot of catching up to do with friends and loved ones. I’m taking advantage of the free babysitting to sit down and finally write something for the blog.
You might notice that I upgraded from the free wordpress option, so now we are just cannonstocruising.com. SO fancy, I know. I’ve also added an author page for my book that is about to be published up in the main menu. I’ll post updates about that process on here, too. Another reason I’ve been lax on the blog of late: finalizing my manuscript! After going back and forth with my editor, we are about ready to submit the final copy.
Once Baby and I are back at Camp Lejeune, there will be a lot to fill you in on. We are discussing getting a new heat/AC unit after discovering ours is 16 (!) years old ($$$). There are also some dear friends of ours who recently bought their own liveaboard and sailed it from Florida to Gottschalk. We are THRILLED to have them as our new neighbors and I hope to share some of their story on here as well. There will also be some ‘Sailing with Baby’ posts as we figure out how to safely sail with a little one this summer.
In the meantime, I will be soaking up my days in the rainy PNW, staring enviously at the boats out on Puget Sound. Can’t beat the view though, right?
Ahem! I have an announcement, and it is one that doesn’t have to do with sailing, living aboard, or military life (shocking!).
For those of you that don’t know, I have been trying to become a traditionally published author for the past three years. So far, I’ve written four books and been rejected countless times by literary agents and publishing houses alike (I should go through my email and get an exact number, it is in the hundreds). My stubbornness finally paid off, though.
Last week I signed a book contract with romance publisher The Wild Rose Press for my third novel, Cloaked. I am so excited to work with an incredible team of editors and marketing staff to realize this dream. More details to come, but for now I’m just pinching myself to make sure it is all real. Sending love and thanks to all who have supported me through this, and told me never to give up. The many hours spent banging my head against the keyboard turned out to be worth it.