Four days until Promise’s Prayer releases!
Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 18,
and don’t forget you can already preorder the Kindle eBook!
Special Guest! Interview with “Erika from 2014”!
The final files have been submitted, and the lengthy editing phase of Promise’s Prayer has now drawn to a close. As I leave this phase behind, I’m both scared and satisfied – scared that I missed something somewhere that I ought to have edited, and satisfied that my numerous rereads of this book have come to a fruitful close and I’m sending my book-child out into the world after investing in it my very best.
Now that editing is over, I’ve been reminiscing about where the editing phase first began. I’ve come across some notes from just before I began editing Promise’s Prayer. So let’s have some fun and go through some questions and answers. I’ll give my answer from 2014 right after I finished writing the book, and then I’ll give my 2017 post-editing answer.
On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best), how well do you think this book turned out?
Erika from 2014: Probably 6 or 7. I’m happy enough with it, but it does need editing. Somehow things never seem to appear on paper as they do in my mind, so it doesn’t match the quality I imagined–yet.
Erika from 2017: Wow, it’s clear that my opinion and love of the book have only improved with each edit. I’d now rate Promise’s Prayer somewhere in the range of 9 – not because I believe it’s the best book ever written, but because I deeply love the characters, the message, the plot, the wording, the journeys of Carita and Kaelan, and the truth of Adon Olam. It’s by far my favorite fiction story I’ve ever written.
Have you ever rewritten or edited one of your books before? If so, what do you do to prepare yourself? If not, what’s your plan?
Erika from 2014: I have edited many books, but actually few of them have been mine. I edited a non-fiction book of mine a year ago. I don’t prepare much; I dive in. My plan is to go through and fix/improve one section at a time.
Erika from 2017: Editing other people’s books seems far easier than editing my own! Most of that is probably psychological as well as the fact that I’m not emotionally attached to other people’s books, i.e. with my own books, I can justify in my head why I chose those specific words or added that specific scene. With other books, I can be more objective. That said, it sounds like I didn’t have a very concrete plan when I first started editing. No wonder it took over two years! I did develop several sub-plans along the way. I read my book several times start to finish, editing each time. Three different times I sent the book to a few friends for opinions and feedback. I edited on my computer, on Kindle, and from the paperback. I scanned every bit of formatting as well as read sections repeatedly for typos. I listened to my computer read my book out loud to me and followed along with it. If there’s a method I didn’t try, please let me know and I’ll add that when I edit Book Two.
What’s your final word count? Do you plan to lengthen or trim your book?
Erika from 2014: My final word count is 66, 328, and I’m planning to both lengthen and trim my book, though I’m not entirely certain yet how significantly. Because I know some parts will be added and others deleted, I’m not certain whether my word count will increase or decrease, but I expect at least a minor increase before it is finished.
Erika from 2017: My book has lengthened. The final word count is 71,469 – so I added about 5000 words in the editing process. Several new scenes are included in those 5000 new words.
What are you most proud of? Plot, characters, or pacing?
Erika from 2014: I’m most proud of my characters–no question there. I got to know them far better than even I imagined. They really took off with what I gave them and led me places I had no idea we’d go. Even supporting characters developed unique personalities and showed who they truly were. Kaelan showed up much more often than I expected, and other characters whom I expected would take the stage more stayed in the background. Plot and pacing are another story… pacing proved more difficult the further I got into the book, and with it, the plot seemed stagnant too, but my wonderful characters rescued both by the end.
Erika from 2017: I’m still most proud of my characters. Kaelan, Carita, and their friends are so realistic – I can relate to what they are thinking and feeling, and every time I read the book, I’m learning and growing along with them. Pacing is much better now than it was initially, though I’m not entirely confident about it. I’m very happy with the plot now that I’ve identified and filled in the original plot holes.
What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself?
Erika from 2014: My hope and dream is that those who read the book will be able to relate to the characters and events in the book and that they will think about their own views and perspectives on life, culture, society problems, and their personal life purpose. I hope that readers will evaluate their own methods of approaching their goals, dreams, and what is important to them and ensure that they are making the right choices. I am also challenging the stereotypical “save the world” element of many novels.
Erika from 2017: My desire is to demonstrate how the real, powerful, lifechanging truths of God’s kingdom (the spiritual realm hidden from our physical senses) could play out in a fictional setting. I hope that readers are encouraged to pray and challenged to trust God with their fears and struggles, relying on Him alone. My goal is that God will use this book to reveal His kingdom to my readers. As C.S. Lewis writes: “By knowing Me here for a little, you may know Me better there.”