September Publishing Update

September’s progress report was delayed by the threat of Hurricane Dorian. We’re all safe here near Orlando, FL, but having a hurricane right after a long Labor Day weekend is a headache for anyone, and mine was further complicated by a memorial service on August 31.

It’s cruel irony that I flew to Florida on August 1 to help care for my mother in the hospital only to say my formal goodbye to her 30 days later. My beautiful, sweet, caring mother passed away on Tues, Aug 27, after a four year battle with breast cancer. She is free now – free from the bondage of pain, of sickness, and of death – but she was stolen from us too soon, and the loss of her life hurts more each passing day. Those who fight cancer are strong, but there is another strength we rarely see or celebrate and that’s the strength to succumb. To meet death with grace, dignity, and courage. My mother was a cancer warrior through the very end, and I am proud to be her daughter.

Due to the circumstances, my August writing goals didn’t go as planned. Last month, I shared how excited I was to have my edit letter in hand. At the time, I was looking forward to hearing from my editor and publisher about major changes for the book. I’m pleased to announce that they both share my vision for the THE RESCUER and have given me free reign to expand the story as I see fit. I managed to get scene cards drafted for a new Act 1, and have the new opening scene written, re-written, and re-written again. It’s time to stop tinkering and move on to scene 2, 3, 4, etc., etc. It feels like I have a mountain to climb, but I’m hoping my passion for this story will carry me forward like a freight train building up speed until I become impossible to stop.

The biggest change is that I’ll be aging up my story and releasing the book as a Young Adult story instead of upper Middle Grade. The book will still appeal to middle school readers, but will likely be shelved in the YA section in book stores like Barnes and Nobles. All of my characters are 15 with three of them starting their third year of training in the Sea Warrior cadet program on the underwater planet Krador. Age isn’t the only thing that’s changing. My initial story problem is shifting into something much more concrete and I’m adding a dedicated ticking clock for my main character. These writing details will translate into more appeal and suspense for my readers.

In addition to writing and editing, I’ve been reading. I’m almost caught up on Alan Bradley’s FLAVIA DE LUCE mystery series, with only one gem to go before I have to wait for his next release. Next up on my To Be Read (TBR) list: CASTLE OF FOUNTAINS, by Douglas AL Smith, a fellow INtense author, which released in August, and IF FOUND, PLEASE RETURN TO: NORBERT M. FINKELSTEIN, by Frank Morelli, coming out Sept 10.

September will be a month of adjustments. I’ll be staying in Florida with my two littles indefinitely  to help my dad and family try to figure out a new normal. As such, I’m not setting a hard and fast writing goal for this month. I’m going to take the month a day at a time.

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” ~ 1 Cor 15:55 ~ KJV