COVER REVEAL: The Monsters Within

A Quick announcement and reveal of the cover of my book.

It has been a long time coming and I can finally reveal the cover for my book, The Monsters Within. The cover design was by Rebeccacovers who I met through Fiverr.

The full cover follows, along with the back cover blurb.

The world has recovered from a plague that decimated the global population thanks to the efforts of the United Global Coalition (UGC). Now acting as the government, the UGC has set up isolated metros around the world. One of the largest metros is Capital Metro. It is the center of the North American Region.

Brett Hardin is a citizen of that metro. He lives his life dedicated to two ideals, supporting the UGC and protecting his family. When those ideals collide, what path will he choose?

Jenna Parks is an operative for a group of rebels that inhabit the Wildlands, the open areas between the metros. She is in the city to meet with her superiors for an important mission. She is about to find out that her mission is about to become personal and reveal horrors that she couldn’t fathom.

Back Cover Blurb – The Monsters Within

As of right now, I have intentions of launching my book around mid-December. That may be delayed to between January and March of next year. Look for that announcement in the coming weeks, along with preorder information.

Also, I am announcing that I will be taking part in NaNoWriMo this year. I am working on the story for that (I don’t have much time left until it starts).

Spread the word.

Novel Progress and the State of My Blog

Introduction

I have been very busy as of late. Between raising two children, working a full-time job, and working on my book, I have had little time to work on my blog. Things are really picking up as I head for the finish line with my book and get my publishing company, Infinite Worlds LLC, up and running. That said, I thought I would take some time out to give another update on the status of my novel (that’s right; I said “novel” … I’m upgrading it from a novella. More on that in a moment) and the status of my website and business. Plus, I am putting out a call for volunteers. There is a lot to get to… so let’s get started.

Novel Progress    

Editing Stage

As I mentioned, I upgraded my book from a novella to a novel. The feedback I received from my editor was quite insightful and spurred me to add some chapters to the book. Along with the additional chapters, I have been going through and rewriting all the chapters one by one, sometimes changing them quite a bit. Some reasons for the changes are because of the new chapters; information and characters that are now introduced earlier, updates, expansions, and changes to the world building, etc.

Where my initial manuscript came to about 29,000 words, the rewrite is on par to break 50,000. Light for the genre of science fiction, but still beefy. Because of that, I likely not include the short story that I intended to but save it for an anthology down the road. I haven’t decided yet whether that anthology would be just my own works or whether I would accept submissions by other authors to include. That is something that I want to do, so if you are interested in publishing a short story, please contact me. Pu the subject line “Writing” or “Short Story.”

So far, I like the changes that I have been making and feel that it is fleshing the story out nicely. I look forward to how it is received when all is said and done.

Release Target

I have planned my target release to be by the end of summer. That is looking less likely, as I have a lot left to do. I now think that I could get it out by mid-October. Since the book has horror elements, I figure that would be a suitable target thematically. I would like to have at least a couple months during this year where my book is on the shelf. Of course, I will update as soon as I firm that up.

Road to Release

That said, I have some tentative plans going forward regarding the preparations for release. I am in the middle of the first edit phase. With the expansion of the story, I am currently working in the middle of the story. I hope to complete this current draft by sometime next week. I was targeting the end of this week, but that is not likely anymore.

Once that is done, I will go back and do some touch up before resubmitting to the editors. By the way, I am using bluepenbooks.com for my editing needs, and they have been very helpful. Anyway, if all goes well, the editing process should be completed by the end of August as I estimate.

The cover art is still pending. I have an artist picked out, but I know she has been very busy lately with other matters. I will be checking in with her soon. Hopefully, I can release the cover art by August.

I also plan for August to be the month where I start ramping up my premarketing. A sample chapter or two should be released around that time and I will likely start taking preorders.

Future Plans

New Directions

So, last month, I ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise some money. Unfortunately, it was a bust. Things as they are, it is understandable. I mean, I am no Brandon Sanderson. So, I have been thinking of ways that I can increase my brand.

I realize that I am behind in the times. I started this blog a little over a year ago. I know… blogs are so 2003. I must get with the times. I am brainstorming ideas for a YouTube channel… several, actually. They won’t completely replace my blog. I’ll still post from time to time. Not to mention I will use my blog to promote my channels. But they will be a way to increase my brand.

One channel will be geared toward a younger audience. That is because it will feature my daughter. She has long been wanting to do YouTube. When she is playing I always here her saying “Please remember to like and subscribe.” Before the naysayers interject, I understand what that will mean. That is why I will be with her. It will be a daddy/daughter channel. I’m still working on what we will actually do on that channel. Maybe some educational activities, general discussions, and other fun stuff.

She has developed an interest in countries and geography recently, so I thought… maybe I can introduce her to Civilization over summer break. I will record game sessions and post them. It would be interesting to see how she takes to the game and a great educational moment.

Another channel would be my main channel. That would me more of a “PG-13” (maybe up to lower “R” audience level). Not that it would be a lot of cussing or explicit or anything. But it may deal with more mature content and discussions geared for older audiences. It is where I will promote my books and the like which can have some themes geared to older readers. Anyway, I haven’t worked it all out, it is still in the preplanning stages.

As I said, it will not replace my blog. I am a writer, after all. But it will supplement it and is a way for growing my audience.

Website Redesign

That said, with my debut novel on its way to publication, I will have to focus on the business side of being an author. Not just my publishing business, but also my author brand itself. That would include a redesign of this website. I will have to prep for my novel info site and there is just a lot to do.

New Fundraiser

Of course, with all of this going on, that requires money. As I mentioned, my Kickstarter failed. I’m still new to all of this, so while I am disappointed, I am not surprised. Still, I realized that a big part of it is that I don’t have as much of a base. I am not giving up, however. Part of the above changes are geared to generating incentives for people to donate. Since my novel is still in production, I am unable to share too much regarding it currently. I need other means to generate revenue. So, I will be starting a Patreon and rerunning my Kickstarter Campaign. More details will be coming. If anybody has any suggestions as to what I can offer as rewards and other incentives, please reach out to me (or comment below). If you email me, for the subject line, put “Incentives.”

Calls for Volunteer

Help Wanted!

So, that leads me to the big ask! I am placing the call out for volunteers. If anybody is willing to lend a hand in any way, I would be more than grateful. Email me with the subject line “Volunteer.” If you are interested in investing and/or “partnering up”, that is even better. (Subject line: Invest). I am currently wearing so many hats between the business and my writing, not to mention my personal life, that it is becoming overwhelming. But I am committed to seeing this through.

If you have any of the following skills, I will certainly want to hear from you. (For the subject line, put “Volunteer: ‘Relevant Skill’”):

  • Business Management
  • Marketing
  • Social Media Manager
  • Website design and maintenance
  • Art
  • Fundraising
  • Graphic Design
  • Creative Assistant (basically, somebody to help me with parsing information from my books, alpha and beta reading, and general administrative tasks related to the book)

There are likely other areas that I could use help on, but those are the major areas. There are perks to volunteering. If you are a beginner in any of these areas, it will be a bullet that you can add to your resume. But more than that, it could be the chance to start in a business from the ground up. If you are starting out or changing things up, this could be a chance to start your path for success.

Potential Future

When I can start hiring for my business (and maybe author brand) I will look at any volunteers first. Those first roles will eventually take on executive positions as the company grows.

Authors who offer their help might also get the invitation to write in any world that I create, especially if you contribute to them. My goal for my publishing company, Infinite Worlds, is to create an independent publisher that is a hub for creativity. To connect authors and artists, and other creative types so that the process of publishing your work is much easier.

In either case, if you are willing to play the long game, roads will open to allow great things for all involved.

Conclusion

Exciting things are on the horizon. I can’t wait to get my book into the hands of the public. I hope to hear from some of you soon, especially if you are hoping to join my team. This is a pivotal time in the writing and publishing industry. Doors are opening, but we have to have the courage to go through. Let’s go through together.

Links

Home | Infinite Worlds (infiniteworldspub.com)

Blue Pen – Editing & Book Design (bluepenbooks.com)

Premiere Novella from S.J. Serio by Salvatore Serio — Kickstarter

Civilization® VI – The Official Site

Contact and Social Media

Email – serious77@sjserio.com

Facebook – Salvatore Serio | Facebook

Twitter – S. J. Serio (You can call me Sal) (@GetSerious77) / Twitter

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/serious1977

LinkedIn – Sal Serio | LinkedIn

TikTok – Salvatore Serio (@sjserio) TikTok | Watch Salvatore Serio’s Newest TikTok Videos

My Kickstarter is Launching

Finally, after a small delay, my Kickstarter is ready to launch.

This is a quick announcement that I am launching my Kickstarter for my book, The Monsters Within. Check it out and if you can, any support would be appreciated.

BACKGROUND

Set about 150 years in the future, it is a world that has been taken over by a global government. A plague sent people into urban areas and as a result, society has transformed. The United Global Coalition (UGC) now works to protect its citizens and keep any threats outside of the city boundaries. As cells of resistance to the UGC grow, a new threat emerges that could spell trouble for all sides.

Through the book, we follow Brett Hardin, a citizen in Capital City Metro, who performs his job loyally and does his best for his family. When those two interests come into conflict, Brett begins to question his place in society and does what he can to protect his family.  

Links

Premiere Novella from S.J. Serio by Salvatore Serio — Kickstarter

Book and Business Update

A quick update on the status of my book and some other things…

Introduction

 The past month has definitely been busy. I have had a lot on my plate. Personal and family life aside (that has been quite active as well), many wheels have been turning as things move forward. With that said, let’s get into it.

Infinite Worlds, LLC (a book publisher)

First, if you missed my last post, I have founded my own publishing company. Infinite Worlds is in the beginning stages of life. For now, it will be a vehicle for publishing my own works. However, I plan on opening it up to others as an option as well. Basically, if you are going the route of self-publishing, but don’t want to deal with all the hassles of the actual publishing part, I want Infinite Worlds to be that option. The protection, “prestige,” and help of having a publisher, without the foot-dragging and control of a traditional publisher or the scamming and thievery of a vanity publisher.

I would also like to expand it beyond just novels. Graphic novels, children’s books, and even supplements like role-playing games would be ideal. Also, I wouldn’t mind delving into other media, such as independent video games. I have a few ideas for some.

My Book Status

Of course, it all starts with my debut book. Currently, it is in the hands of editors. I just got the development feedback, so I will probably be busy in the coming weeks completing the edits. If all goes well, I hope to have it launched by the end of summer. I will update on the progress as regularly as I can. With that in mind, I do plan on setting up a newsletter. I also hope to have a sample chapter or two posted online within the next couple of months. Things are really moving and I am getting excited. Still, there is a long road ahead.

I am also in the planning stages of my next works. The outline for the sequel for my debut novel has begun to take form. I have also been working on some worldbuilding for future projects and series I intend to release.

Fundraising

With that in mind, I am working on a fundraiser to help get things done. I am finding out that it is costing a lot of money. From editing, to cover art, to formatting, there are a lot of factors that go into it and much of it requires money. Therefore, I am starting a Kickstarter to help get it in gear. It should go live within about a week or so. The tier rewards are being worked out. I have little to offer at this time, but I am only targeting about $4,000. I mean, I don’t expect anywhere near Brandon Sanderson numbers. Basic expenses are what I’m looking to cover. Anything extra will probably go towards marketing and my business, which will give me some capital to expedite publishing the works of others who are interested.

Lastly, if anybody would like to volunteer, contact me at serious77@sjserio.com. I have a lot on my plate and could use some help in certain areas so that I can focus on certain things. This mostly applies to friends and family who may want to lend a hand.

Conclusion

In the end, it looks like I will be very busy in the coming months as well. I am excited… and nervous. Regardless, big things are coming.

Links

Infinite Worlds – Home | Infinite Worlds (infiniteworldspub.com)

Kickstarter Campaign – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1005671473/premiere-novella-from-sj-serio

Brandon Sanderson – Surprise! Four Secret Novels by Brandon Sanderson by Dragonsteel Entertainment — Kickstarter

New Book Publisher has Entered the Arena

My new publishing company is launching…

My book is officially with an editor, and I am making preparations for release (hopefully) later this year. One of those preparations is the founding of my new business, Infinite Worlds.

I am proud of this endeavor and thankful for the support that I have received from my friends and family. I would like everyone to check it out. The website and social media pages are works in progress. As my company (and catalogue) grows, more will be added. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions.

Initially, Infinite Worlds is where I will publish my own books. But I have ambitions beyond that. I want to be the premiere publisher for independent speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, etc.). I want to grow the catalogue well beyond my own and have books, stories, and other media that appeal to a variety of readers.

Contact me at serious77@sjserio.com if you are working on a book (anywhere in the realm of speculative fiction for any age market) of your own and don’t want to go through traditional publishers or to publish under your own name.

I will not ask money… we are NOT a vanity publisher. As we are starting out, a lot of hurdles will be crossed together. But this is the start. We are a publishing company for self-publishers with the goal of streamlining the process of self-publishing and providing protection and assistance for new and veteran authors alike.

Follow Infinite Worlds at the links below. Great things are coming…

LINKS

Home | Infinite Worlds (infiniteworldspub.com)

Infinite Worlds LLC | Facebook

https://www.linkedin.com/company/infinite-worlds-publishing

More social media and links coming soon!

Current Status and Moving Forward

Blog update and pending announcements on the horizon.

Well, the past couple of months have been a roller coaster. It has been a roller coaster with some highs and lows. Now, however, things are coming into alignment. There are some speed bumps along the way, but, if all goes well, the next month or two should reveal some major updates and events.

In the meantime, I will try to resume my regular blogs (to some capacity) in the following weeks. First of which should be my review of Cobra Kai Season 4. I know it has been over two months since the show released. I started working on the review a while ago. Just different factors prevented me from completing it in a timely manner and led me to hold it on a slow burner for a time. I should have it out within a week (and maybe within a day or two). Unlike my Wheel of Time episode reviews, this is going to encompass the entire season with predictions regarding season 5.

Over the past couple of months, I have had a lot of reflection on The Wheel of Time TV show. Some of them have been good… some not so good. To be honest, it has been a struggle for me, being a big fan of the series. I knew there were going to be changes from the source material. However, while some I was fine with, other aspects I was not too keen on. But I will get into that when it comes. Expect that review in the next few weeks.

Along with those big posts, I may have some others coming. There have been a couple games that I have gotten into recently (including the Pixel Remaster of Final Fantasy VI and Dragon Quest Builders 2). There are some movies that I am looking forward to or interested in seeing. Not to mention the whole The Legend of Vox Machina. I may even do a blog on Dungeons and Dragons and other Role-Playing Games. Those should come over the next couple months in between the big stuff.

So, what is the big stuff? Well, to start, I finally pulled the trigger on starting my publishing company. If all goes well, I should have the official announcement by the end of the month. The paperwork is being filed. Although, I have hit a couple snags (that just came to my attention) that have to be worked out. Still, I hope the snags will be resolved quickly and I can begin to move forward and share the news soon.

Along with that, I am beginning the final stages of my novella. I am working out the tentative schedule, but as of right now, I should be looking to release it by the end of June. Details such as cover art, preorders, and a free chapter or two should be coming over the next month or two (not necessarily in that order). I can’t wait to get it out and into the hands of hungry readers.

And that brings us to the follow ups. I have several projects in the works. They are still in the early stages. I’m not quite Brandon Sanderson and I don’t have 5 books ready to drop all at once. Hopefully I will get there soon. Nonetheless, as the weeks go on, I will beging the process of outlining, detailing, and writing the first one. With luck, I think I can get another novella ready by the end of the year. With a lot of luck, I might be able to release maybe two or three more next year and give BrandoSando a run for his money. I guess I’ll have to check out Kickstarter to help fund me along.

So, to sum up, the next few months should be really busy for me. That is not including the personal matters like health and family. Still, I look forward to the road ahead, no matter how bumpy and scary it looks. I know that the end will be worth the ride. I hope that you are all willing to share it with me.

Links

Home | Brandon Sanderson

My Newborn / The Wheel of Time / My Book Status

It’s been a while… here is an update on what’s going on with me.

Life has been busy. It has been over a month since my last post. Since then, I have been spending time with my family (especially my newborn and older daughter), working on getting my novella ready for publishing, and being overwhelmed with excitement for the upcoming The Wheel of Time TV series, as well as the Ghostbusters: Afterlife movie premiering the same day. So, without further ado, let’s dive into it…

MY NEWBORN

My youngest daughter Sophia Marie

It has been a little over a month since my second daughter was born, and we brought her home from the NICU. While it is a wonderful event, I have to say… It has been an adjustment. Afterall, it has been 6 years since the last time we had a newborn in the house. She has been adjusting well, despite developing a little cold a couple weeks ago. Her sister, Savannah, adores her. Still, it has clearly been an adjustment for her as well dealing with a crying baby all the time. We have been doing our best to check in on her feelings and to ensure her that we love her too, despite all the attention baby Sophia is getting. That has been the greatest challenge, perhaps. But I feel that things should be settling down by the holidays as Sophia begins to get more control and moves out of the newborn stage.

My daughters… Savannah and Sophia

THE WHEEL OF TIME

Another excitement that has been sweeping over me. The onslaught of marketing for Amazon’s The Wheel of Time has been making me giddy. The trailers, clips, posters, spotlights, and more that has been pouring out is a constant reminder that the days are ticking closer until the release. When news that they were hosting premiers on the 15th in select theaters around the states, I took a shot at the closest to me… Silver Spring, MD. Alas, I was too late as the registry was already filled by the time I got signed in (about a half hour after the announcement).

So, I suppose Monday evening, I will be following Dragonmount, The Dusty Wheel, Daniel Greene, and the other lucky content creators who are heading to London for the world premiere. Still, with just more than a week away until the official release, I will be checking in as soon as I am able to. I do plan to do a review of sorts here on my blog. I haven’t decided whether I will do one entry per episode (there are three episodes dropping on the 19th) or react to all of them. Whatever the case, I will likely record my thoughts after each episode and before starting the next one. Maybe I’ll do a spoiler-free look at all three with a spoiler free deep dive into each episode (perhaps released a day or so later).

Red Carpet Coverage for The Wheel of Time Premiere

Also, look for a review of Ghostbusters: Afterlife that weekend too. I am planning on taking my daughter on Friday. I have been very excited to see this movie and I am hyped by the reception that it has already received. I also feel that it might help Savannah feel a bit special to have a daddy/daughter date after she gets out of school that day.

MY BOOK STATUS

And finally, the status of my book is that it is coming along. It has been in a “beta-read” status since I completed the first draft at the end of August. I have made several revisions already thanks to the feedback that I have received from several beta readers including Glenda C, Robbie Seal, Robert Young, Norma Garcia, and Shannon Casey. They have provided a lot of great feedback regarding the grammar, structure, and content of the book. I have also been pleased by the responses, so far, to the story itself.

I was planning on ending the beta stage at the end of October. However, I am extending it as I go through the story for continuity. I have been working these past couple of weeks (and I am still in the process) of extracting information from the book for my worldbuilding “bible.” For this, I am utilizing several programs and outlets, including MS Excel (for quick lists), Campfire Write (formerly Campfire Blaze), and World Anvil. I am also looking into a couple other tools. Look for reviews on how these tools work for me as I hope to do a worldbuilder feature blog soon.

Other aspects of the book are still a work in progress. I have reached out to an artist for the cover art, though I know she has a lot on her plate at this time. Also, the business aspect of founding a publishing company is in the works and I hope to have the foundations laid out by sometime in January. With all of that, I anticipate (and plan for) officially releasing my novella in early Spring. Look for more details of it after the New Year. I would like to do a cover reveal, preorder, and at least a sample chapter.

It has been a busy month and the months ahead are loaded with trials and challenges. But I look forward to them all. Happy Veterans Day to all my fellow veterans.

Links

Watch The Wheel Of Time – Season 1 | Prime Video (amazon.com)

News – Dragonmount.com

The Dusty Wheel – YouTube

Daniel Greene – YouTube

Ghostbusters: Afterlife | Official Website | Sony Pictures

BetaBooks: Reader management software for authors. | BetaBooks

Campfire – Tell Your Story (campfirewriting.com)

World Anvil Worldbuilding tools & RPG Campaign Manager | World Anvil

EXCITING NEWS: New Arrivals and Progress Update

While I’ve been working hard at getting my book ready for publishing, an exciting event occurred… the arrival of my second daughter.

The last few weeks have been busy. At the end of August, I finished writing the first draft of my novella. That is exciting enough as it is, but more on that later. The biggest news is what happened over this past weekend. My second daughter was born.

Announcement

Yes, that’s right. On October 2nd, just before midnight, Sophia Marie, was born via C-section birth. She measured at 21 ¾ in length and weighed in at 8 lbs. even. She was a little early, with her mother only being about 37 and a half weeks into her pregnancy. The past few days have been surreal, and I have barely gotten any sleep. Mother and baby are doing well, despite Sophia having to stay in the NICU.

The Birthing Story

Her mom, Lexy, had been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for a few weeks now. She had mentioned that it wasn’t painful, but there was just a lot of pressure that would go away. On Saturday, however, she was complaining that she was having pains. I had just got home from my work and was helping. Lexy’s mom and sister was coming down and they were planning on spending the day together. By noontime, her mother had arrived, and I was heading to bed to get some sleep as I had to go to work that night.
           

At about 5, I woke up when they returned to the house. I went out to use the bathroom and Lexy was complaining that the pain had gotten worse… much worse. So I got myself ready and took her to the hospital. We went in and they processed her and got her into a triage room while I parked the van. When I caught up, they had her hooked up to the monitors for the contractions and the baby’s heartbeat. An exam showed that her cervix was still closed and that she was NOT in labor. The pains, however, were taking a toll on Lexy.

Lexy was about to surrender. If she wasn’t in labor, she wanted to go home. Finally, a doctor came in and began asking her questions. Of particular interest was her blood pressure, which was elevated. Of course, the elevation could be attributed to the pains, but they decided that it was enough of a reason to go ahead and take her early for the C-section birth.

We were excited. We began making calls to family and informing them what was happening. It was reported that my daughter, Savannah, began crying when she heard that her sister was arriving soon. The doctors and nurses came in to prep Lexy. Finally, they had me gown up, took us to the delivery room and had me wait in the hall while they gave her the final preparations.

While standing in the hall, I could hear Lexy scream as they gave her the spinal tap anesthesia. After an excruciating wait, they finally called me into the delivery room. I sat by her arm, camera at the ready, as they started their work. I could see them working this scissors and clamps as they operated. I didn’t have a direct view, but it was enough. The anticipation was high for both me and Lexy. She kept asking me what was going on. After an unknown amount of time past, I watched the table get flooded as they broke the amniotic sac and released the fluid. Then, they began to pull my daughter free.

It was unreal… I was watching her leave her mother’s body. Almost immediately after getting her out, she began crying. They held her up and I was able to snap a picture. They then took her over to the warming table while the doctors began closing Lexy up. They cleaned her up and suctioned her out, hooking her up to the monitors attached to the table. They called me over and I welcomed Sophia to the world. When they offered me the opportunity to cut the cord, I took it immediately. I didn’t get that chance with my first daughter. With little sleep and the rush of excitement, I was on cloud 9.

Worries

I was then taken to recovery and Lexy soon followed once they finished stitching her up. They brought Sophia in briefly for us to see, but they had to take her up to the NICU as her Oxygen Saturation was not at good levels. They took her up and said that I would be able to go up there in about an hour. Being that I hadn’t eaten anything besides a sandwich 12 hours before, I went out on a quest for food. The café was closed at this time, so I had to settle on Cheese-its and a soda from the vending machine.

After my snack, I went up to visit my daughter in the NICU. She was all clean and sleeping well. This was the first of many visits over the next few days. I bounced around during those days between the NICU, Post-Partum with her mom, and home with our first daughter. Taking her to school in the morning and picking her up in the afternoon. I look forward to their official introduction.

I was running on little sleep. I gave my family and friends updates as I could, video chatting some while in the NICU with Sophia. Lexy was finally able to come up and visit her later Sunday afternoon. As Lexy recovered from her surgery, I spent the most time in the NICU, changing her diapers, feeding her, holding her, singing to her, and even reading to her.

On Monday, the took her off the oxygen and we were so excited. Unfortunately, when Lexy and I went up to see her, they had to put Sophia back on the oxygen as her desaturation levels were dipping. This was a blow to my excitement and had me upset. Everybody kept assuring me that it was fine and common. But I felt so powerless. I just wanted her with us. So that night, after a visit home and spending some time with Savannah, I returned and stayed most of the night in the NICU. Thanks to my father and Lexy’s sister, Ashley, for aiding me with Savannah.

Tuesday faired much better as they took her off oxygen at 11 am and she was now holding strong. Despite my worries, I cherish the bonding time that I had with Sophia during her stay there. I continued my visits, changing and feeding her. Her mom was even able to get up there a few more times and take her turns. We dressed her in some of the outfits we brought along (the doctors and nurses got a kick out of her “Storm Pooper” onesie). Steadily, she has been improving.

Homecoming

Lexy was released on Wednesday afternoon, and we went home. Sophia must be off oxygen for 48 hours before they will release her. The nurse suggested that we come home, get some rest, and do last minute preps at home for her homecoming. That’s what we did. Now, as of the time that I am writing this, we are preparing for her release today. The nurses and doctors have been pleased with all her other checks (just a bit of jaundice is the only other issue) and she is on track for being released by this afternoon.

Other News

Book Progress

In other news, the progress on my book is going well. Thanks to BetaBooks.co, I have been receiving great feedback. Many helpful grammar corrections, insights, and reactions. If anybody would like to assist, let me know.

The Road Ahead

I plan on stopping the beta read phase at the end of this month then moving forward with the process. The next steps after that would be to find an editor (if I even decide to go that route at this time, the beta reads have been helpful and I am considering skipping that step this time… we will see), work on starting my publishing company, and maybe secure an audio narrator (or two… hint, hint Michael Kramer and Kate Reading). I have already commissioned the cover art from a very talented artist.

It has been an exciting week and the next few months look to be even more exciting. With a new baby in the house AND a new book in the works, I have a lot to look forward to. Many thanks to those who have supported me with both Sophia and the book. A special thanks to Lexy for all that you went through. The payoff is well worth it. I love you and look forward to spending our time together, watching our daughters grow.

Links

Regarding the above video, the book I was reading to Sophia is called Spiders in my House by A. M. Horst. I know her better as my sister. It is a lovely children’s book focused on counting and the theme is perfect for this time of year. Check it out if you get a chance:

Spiders in My House (1): Horst, Angela: 9781543974980: Amazon.com: Books

My First Draft is Complete…

I have finished the first draft of my novella and I am ready to move onto the next step. That is proving a little more difficult than anticipated…

On the morning of August 31st, I wrote the last word in my manuscript. Final word count came to 27,800 words. It has been a great feeling. Since then, I have been researching how to go about my next step in getting it published. That step is recruiting beta readers and distributing the manuscript to them. It’s not a straight forward process and leaving me at a bit of a stalemate.

Unfortunately, it is not as simple as asking several random people to read it and give me the feedback. Through my research, it is suggested not to use people that are close to you as they might not provide the best feedback. That is understandable, though I do have a couple people in mind that I do trust to have a critical eye and to give honest feedback (my brother, for example… especially when it comes to grammar).

That said, I intend to find about 5 to 10 beta readers (plus a few select ones… like my brother). For those that I do not know, there comes another issue. Security! While I want to give people the benefit of the doubt, I have been burned before and have seen others burned as well. Giving a complete stranger (or even an internet acquaintance) my manuscript comes with risks.

I saw on a reddit thread where an author asked about NDA’s for their beta readers. They were immediately attacked for being egotistical and made fun of with comments that their work was not “good enough” to be stolen. Only one comment was helpful to the author’s inquiry before the thread was locked to commenting. I personally believe that anybody, no matter their product, has the right to have their work protected. I have certainly considered this method myself. I am not saying that my work is the next best thing, but I still want to protect it before putting it out there.

Along similar lines, another consideration is the process of distributing the manuscript to potential beta readers. Should I print out manuscripts and mail it out (the word document… at double spaced 12-pt Times New Roman… is at 91 pages) to potential readers physically? Or would some sort of online distribution method be better? If the latter, how can I ensure that only the people that I want to have access can see it?

Well, that is where I am at currently. If anybody has any recommendations or solutions that I can pursuit, I would be greatly appreciative. Hopefully, by the end of the week, I will be able to move on with this step. My goal is to have all feedback from beta readers by the end of October. Then I can do my revisions make my manuscript ready to send to an editor. I would like to be at that step by the end of the year. Ultimately, my goal is to publish the book in the spring.

Feel free to comment with any suggestions that you may have. I look forward to it. This is quite a learning process… and a journey.