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Via www.flickr.com by the Italian Voice

After experimenting with short pieces of writing and getting paid on the Internet, I joined the Institute of Children’s Literature shortly thereafter. I had been dabbling in writing to heal along with oil painting and increasing my music activities. Teachers at the Institute are high level authors that are published, have won awards and are the most patient people in the world. The course has a component where the instructor has you set your own goals for your writing. I started doing the assignments and began to make further progress reaching a new norm in my life after the triple “D” years. (See blog Why Write?)

The Writing Nudge

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Via www.wikimedia.com by Blue Plover

The assignments were subjects found in your life making it personal and then were taken to the next level. Several things happened at once. I began to have a nudge to do a children’s book about math so I drafted “Ways to Say Zero” using the skills I had gained from Kristin Nitz, the writing teacher and from traits my youngest son, Morgan,  had. It was not an assignment, but I used the techniques.

My Friend Rajiv

My SEO writing became much  improved and I received more assignments.  My editor became Rajiv Karran for many of my assignments. At work he was the consummate professional. He made friends with me on FaceBook where he shared his family, friends and life with me.

Creating Narrative From Real Life

For an assignment I wrote a character sketch from Rajiv’s description of his brother, Sajiv, who had been in a tragic accident in young adulthood. For another assignment, I wrote the first chapter of my novel “The Grand New Delhi Escapade” using the title “Market Boom” based on information about India from him. “Ways to Say Zero” was accepted for publication in April 2012 by Guardian Angel Publishing and is in progress. For the course, I wrote a non-fiction children’s book “White Shark Cafe” which Kristin Nitz helped develop the idea for and edited several times for me. When my novel reaches a certain level then “White Shark Cafe” becomes next for publication.

A Novel is Born

The novel developed slowly at first. As Rajiv and I’s friendship continued I learned more about India. We had some deep discussions about life. I did not want to forget the many things I had learned about India from him. Combining what I learned with SEO writing, all the lessons from the Institute, my prior education experiences, and the friendship the characters came to life in my mind. Dr. McGowan, Sajiv and Sharlene began to wander in and out of my life having conversations and adventures. I rewrote parts of the first chapter and with the help of my adult son, Jake, I discussed ideas and plot lines. His advice was insightful from a young adult perspective. Then Rajiv suggested editor Crystal Ross also a young adult who he had worked with. Her input increased the flow of the novel.

Finding a Publisher

Once a novel is finished you have to find a publisher so about the time I decided to have it edited I was talking to publishers. My children’s book I pitched to various publishers, had the rejection letters, and then the glorious acceptance but that company did not do adult books. Working in SEO and reading the blogs you learn of developing trends in the digital world. I had read about hybrid publishers who collaborated like a partner. So I searched for a company who globally did that. I ran across Sherrill Cannon’s blog on SBPRA who described the process used to publish her children’s books. I sent the manuscript in and Tom the acquisition man accepted it.

Look Mom! I am on Amazon

SBPRA  has taught me the process of publishing to marketing. In future blogs I will describe the process. As of May, I have novel on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and more than 55 other outlets I have found when Googling it. Presently the novel has been scheduled for marketing at five top-level Asian Book Fairs. The video for the book appeared at a major Indian news site. My SEO jobs taught me how to market with social media so typing in “The Grand New Delhi Escapade” it pulls up many sites that have my novel.

As Rajiv taught me whether life is good or not so good when one gets up every morning say “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you and I accept the gift for today.”

Writing has given me many unexpected gifts and pleasures. Until next time may you have grand escapades of your own anyway you wish.