Last April, I got The Call. My editor called me after reviewing the revisions I’d made to A Ranch to Keep (at the time titled Sierra Sunrise) and offered me a contract. What a life-changing moment! In one five-minute phone call my writing went from hobby to profession. My childhood dream of becoming a published author went from fantasy to reality.
But after speaking with my editor and celebrating with my family, I realized I had no idea what would happen next. As panic set in I promised myself I’d just take it one step at a time and always try to do my best. That’s all I could do.
And that’s what I’ve done. When I get revision comments, I take them very seriously, and try to incorporate what’s been suggested – while still making sure it sounds like my voice and remains true to my characters. Luckily, I have an editor who makes extremely insightful suggestions, so it’s been very easy!
If I re-read my book during revision or line edits, and feel like a paragraph or a passage could be better, I take the time to make it better. As a writer I am always learning and growing. What seems good at the time I write it can seem clunky when I go back and re-read it a few weeks later.
I listen to reviewers. While many people say that they really like A Ranch to Keep, a few have also have commented that it drags in a couple spots, and that the actions of the hero and heroine are a bit too predictable. I went back and re-read my book, and I can see their point. So in my next book, More Than a Rancher, I’ve tried to move the action along at a brisk pace and, I could be wrong, but I do think the plot is a lot less predictable!
What a year it’s been! I’ve learned huge amounts about writing, revising, editing, plotting, writing a proposal for new books, working with an agent, promoting a book – the list is endless! I am filled with gratitude when I think about this short twelve months, April to April, that have changed my life so profoundly.
And to celebrate, I’m giving away a signed copy of a Ranch to Keep on Goodreads! Click HERE and enter to win!