Stella’s Plea – My First Novel’s Long Journey


I always heard it takes a lot of time to write a book, but I never realized how much goes into this.  Writing is one thing. Bringing the end product to “conclusion” is another, with all the edits, revisions and rewrites. Unfortunately, patience has never been one of my strong points. I’ve always joked I have a lot of it; it’s just short. On the flip-side, I thank God for my husband, the most patient man in the world who  has enough for both of us. Yes he’s a keeper!

For two years, I worked on a novel. I entered a publishing contest in July 2010 but didn’t win. After several rewrites, I re-entered the same contest in July 2011. It shortlisted. Yay!!! But now what? Getting my novel on the shortlist gave me a certificate. Excited? Yes, (understatement), but I knew it wasn’t ready to publish. A few months later, I enlisted the services of an editor. Nancy was highly recommended by writers in a group I belong to. Thus began several more ’bouts’ of editing, revisions and yes, rewrites. To say I was impatient doesn’t cut it. But I wanted this story to be ready. I knew rushing through the process would mean few sales and bad reviews I didn’t want.

This novel also needed the ‘perfect’ cover. The writing group recommended a wonderful graphic artist. I told her what I wanted and was nearly in tears when I received the first sample. It was perfect, and exactly what I asked for. I couldn’t be happier.

After a while, Nancy asked if I’d publish traditionally or e-pub! Wow… decisions, decisions, decisions. In the end, I chose e-pub. And then, it happened. Nancy said the words I waited to hear: “Go For It. But, consider revising the cover.”

Huh?!?! What? Why? Though beautiful, it didn’t spell “suspense”. Actually, the church I’d requested gave instead a sense of peace. This story is about a kidnapping. The last thing I need the cover to depict was peace. I don’t blame the designer, I specifically asked for this. I emailed her again but she had too any orders. I’d have to go on the ‘waiting list’.

Back to the drawing board, a former university buddy agreed to do the artwork. Mitch asked a series of questions about the story and put something together. This time, it spelled suspense, and details fit the story perfectly. Hooray!! Oh but wait, there’s still so much to do.

Next came the formatting, then the uploading process. Correction, formatting didn’t take long, I had someone who knows what he’s doing to take care of that. (Thanks Rik).  I tried to upload it on Amazon, I ran into technical problems, which, in the end, even Amazon say they didn’t know how to fix. So I turned to Smashwords and suddenly got cold feet. Was it a sign that I should wait? That it wasn’t ready? What if i missed something? What if…?

I entered all the requested information and paused with a couple of questions. I emailed the writing group and waited for their reply. In the meantime, my daughter-in-law and grandson came over and we sat in my office. I checked my email repeatedly, while we talked about this novel. All the while my grandson (16 months old) sat on my lap, and tapped on my gel pad. Little did I know that he’d hit the space bar, thus ‘clicking’ the PUBLISH button. Imagine my surprise when I received an email saying Congratulations, Stella’s Plea is now published online at Smashwords…! About three weeks later, I was able to upload it on Amazon.

Publishing my first novel was exciting and I couldn’t have done it without the help of so many fantastic people. I’m delighted to say it is available on Amazon as an eBook. Now, it’s time to get started on the next one; a court drama. 🙂

Note: Since the writing of this post, I have since removed it from Smashwords but it is still available on Amazon. Click the following link for download.


8 thoughts on “Stella’s Plea – My First Novel’s Long Journey

    • You’re welcome, Rebecca.
      It was at times a hair-pulling journey but more than that, most times it was fun. As I look back, I can’t help but wonder if I would have pressed on had I known from the start what lay ahead. Part of me says I wouldn’t have, so I’m glad I pressed on ‘blindly’. The end result was so well worth it. Besides, look at the wonderful people I met in the process. Yay!

      Thanks for the comment.



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