Exciting Updates!

Sorry about the silence . . .

I made it through Hurricane Irma A-okay. Right now, I am in New York for a few months which puts most of my writing work on hold. But I have a few projects I plan to be working on while I’m up here.

One project is the Silver Foxes comic that I’ve been drawing. I took a little break from it, but plan to pick it back up while I’m away. I don’t have access to a scanner or anything for the moment, but I can at least get a lot of penciling done.

My second project is a bit of a secret right now, but I hope I can get it done by the new year.

Project three is working on marketing. I’ve been taking a class, and got some really good ideas about how to market my books. So far, I’ve learned about Facebook ads, how to leverage a Facebook page to make maximum impact for those ads, and BookBub ads and featured deals. Can’t wait to try out what I learned.

But the most important project is getting ready for my book, Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon. You see, when I was sent the galleys from my publisher to review–about 2 weeks ago–I overlooked the most important sentence of the e-mail. I have a RELEASE DATE! And what is it?

***Feb. 20, 2018!***

That’s when my book will be released. I am so excited! I’m going to spend the rest of September finalizing what I’ll do for promotions and then work on it from October onward. Look for posts involving crafts inspired by the book or character profiles or things like that in the near future.

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

 

My Journey in Editing II

A few weeks ago, I chronicled my adventures in editing my upcoming book Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon. Up to that point, I had undergone 3 types of editing with my publisher, Clean Reads. This week I underwent one more. So I’ve decided to update my understanding of the different types of edits. This time, I’ve got research under my belt.

Pre-Edits

**Going by my experiences, this is pretty much the same as what I thought . However, the definition I found of the term “pre-edits” has something to do with preparing a manuscript before machine translation. Since my book is not currently being translated I don’t think this definition applies to my manuscript–unless I’m missing something . . . which is possible . . .**

This process is something I went through with both of my traditionally published books. Basically, it’s conforming the manuscript to the publisher’s specific formatting requirements–such as having only one space after a period, or all numbers should be written out, or the removal of certain words the publisher doesn’t like. Doing all this first saves time later.

It’s a bit of a tedious process, and I found out I use the word “that” more than I should. But it also tightens up the manuscript. All told, not to bad. But it took a longer time than I thought it would.

Content Edits

***Also called “developmental,” “structural,” or “substantive” editing. Again, this is pretty much what I thought it was.***

This is where the editor goes through and suggests changes to your manuscript. With my first book, Lucas, Guardian of Truth, my editor suggested removing a large chunk of my story and revise some of the character interactions. I did so, and it made the story so much better. This time around the content editing was minimal.

This is the process that can be a little hard for a writer to bear. Your editor will take a good look at your story and be brutally honest about what needs to be changed. However, all the editors I’ve ever worked with are so supportive that even when major changes were suggested, I felt comfortable accepting their criticisms. And it helps to remember that they want your story to work as much as you do. In the end, though, the decision was mine to make.

Line Edits

**Again, pretty much the same as what I thought. A line editor goes through, catches grammar mistakes, etc. However, I was mistaken when I assumed this is the proofing process.**

Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon is the first time I’ve worked with a line editor, and all I have to say is, “Where have you been all my life?” From my understanding, the line editor is the typo catcher. Mine caught grammar mistakes, awkward sentences, missing words, and things like that. It was a pleasure to work with her.

Proof Edits

This is the process I underwent this week. During this process my editor found typos and missing words, etc.  In my current experience, the proof editor overlapped with the line editor. Both of them found typos and such. But even with all the editing this manuscript has undergone thus far, the proof editor still found typos and missing words. I’m soo glad she came to my rescue!

***

And there you have it. My continuing journey in editing. I’m so excited to work with this team–everyone seems to love the book as much as I do! Thank you, Clean Reads! Thank you!

___

For a clearer, better understanding on the types of edits, please see these sites. They are the ones I referenced for this post:

https://www.grammarly.com/blog/amandaonwriting-four-types-of-book-editing-1/

https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2014/04/4-levels-of-editing-explained-which-service-does-your-book-need/

http://www.archwaypublishing.com/Resources/Editing-and-Design/The-Different-Types-of-Editing.aspx

http://contentrules.com/do-you-know-the-difference-between-pre-editing-and-post-editing/

https://www.taus.net/knowledgebase/index.php/Pre-editing

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

 

ECLIPSE DAY!!!

It’s finally here! Eclipse day!

This morning, I thought I was so smart. I thought to myself, “I’ll leave my house so I can get to the library at 10. That way, I’ll be at the front of the line.” Then I’d get my eclipse glasses, spend the day at the library until the event starts, and see the eclipse. Perfect!

Except people had the same idea as me . . . but better. Some were there at 6 and 7 in the morning. Others had chairs set up waiting to get glasses. Talk about DEDICATION! The line was sooo long, and the library wasn’t handing out glasses until 1pm. But my sister and I stuck it out, and they decided to give out tickets so we didn’t have to stand in line all day. So I got me a ticket for the glasses! YAY!

golden ticket
The golden ticket . . . except it’s blue.

So my sister and I did some work at the library while we were waiting until we heard the announcement to line up for the glasses. I was so excited I walked out with a bunch of unchecked out library books. But I got them checked out and got in line for the glasses. It was a MADHOUSE! Lots of people were there wanting glasses–most without tickets. My sister and I got ours. It was fantastic.

The eclipse has started now, and as I wait for the moment the moon will cover the sun the most, I want to share with you a little more about my upcoming book, Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon.  I’ve been mentioning the book quite a bit because I’m excited for it. It was inspired by my eldest nephew and my only niece as well as the verse, Joshua 10: 12b-13a (NIV), which goes thusly,

     “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

I’ve always been fascinated by that verse and so many of the themes and royal titles in the story come from this.

As for the inspiration from my niece and nephew: when she was a baby, my niece used to sleep all day and be active at night. My nephew, being older, did the opposite. So that gave rise to the story concept of “day people” (those who get energy from the sun and sleep at night) versus “night people” (those who gets energy from the moon and sleep during the day).

In any case, as I’ve mentioned before, the book contains a solar eclipse which is why I’m thinking about it today. And to celebrate the eclipse here is a book blurb of Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon–the one I originally wrote. I’m still in edits with my publisher, so it may not be the final version, but this is the spirit of the book:

For years the Moon Palace in the Valley of Aijalon and the Sun Tower in the Plains of Jashar has stood as testaments to the power of the sun and the graciousness of the moon.  Helio and Lumina, Guardians of the sun and moon, kept watch over them and the Prince and the Princess who ruled them.  But the Prince and Princess are missing, and the sun is exhibiting strange behavior.

Now Joshua and his younger sister, Deborah, must untangle a web of lies and deceit to uncover the secret of who they really are and save their world from an imminent disaster brewing in the heavens.  And they must hurry.  Between the earthquakes, the sun and moon standing still in the sky, and the planet Jants hovering closer than it’s ever been, the planet could be torn apart before they have a chance to do something about it.

So that’s that! I can’t wait to share more with you about this book and its release.

And now . . . I go outside to enjoy my glasses.

Until next time,

*heart* M.R. Anglin

Useless Words

As I mentioned last week, I signed a contract with a book publisher for one of my manuscripts. This week, the editor had me run through pre-edits. It’s a list of items that all authors must comply with before they get into the editing process.

What an eye opener!

Two things I learned by going through this process: 1. I am a much better writer than I was when I finished that manuscript. 2. Useless words can plague a manuscript.

One of the items they sent me was a list of words they wanted cut. Can I tell you, you don’t know how much you use a particular word until you’re asked to remove it.

By the time I finished, I had cut a total of 1,913 words of useless words, phrases, and sentences–which doesn’t sound like much, until you consider that’s approximately 8 double spaced, 1″ margin-ed pages. Yes, *8*! YIKES!

Now, I consider myself a good writer, but I was astonished at how many overused words crept into my writing.

So take the time to cut those insipid words and phrases from your manuscript. Is there a phrase you’ve repeated a lot? Try to find a way to re-write them. And don’t be afraid if page after page winds up on the cutting room floor. Your manuscript will be better for it.

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

An Exciting Week!

This has been an exciting week for me.

First, you may have noticed that the website has a new look. That’s because I decided to change my webhost on Monday. And what followed was a Memorial Day full of frustration and anger—all founded on the fact that I bought the wrong plan. The good news is that the support team was so nice, refunded my money, and I was able to get my website transferred successfully today. Some of the pictures on the posts are gone, but I can and will restore them in the next few weeks.

After that, I found out that Gods with Fur, the anthology one of my short stories was included in, won the award it was nominated for. You can see the stream of the award ceremony here:

(The anthologies’ award starts at 28:19). I’m so excited about that. It was shaping up to be a good day.

And then I got an e-mail.

A publishing company I had submitted my manuscript, Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon, to decided to accept it for publication! I signed the contract on Wednesday, and now I am in the editing process. I’ll be sure to provide more details as I move along.

In addition, I finished inking the last page of Chapter 3 of the Silver Foxes graphic novel. On to writing Chapter 4!

So it’s been a good week. Yeah, a very good week!

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

Jessica!!–New Book Art.

So I’m in the middle of revising the next book in my Silver Foxes series: Celebrity Dish. It features pop singer, Jessica! I’ve started drawing again and so I came up with this:

(The blue of her tail feathers are a bit off, so I’ll have to adjust the colors)

Jessica is a bird of indeterminate species. She loves to take inspiration from all bird species and put them into her in-public costumes. This particular costume is her new look that will be unveiled in the book. It’s based off of the peacock, the male Spatuletail hummingbird, and the female Raggiana Bird of Paradise. Here are some links to pics of each of those birds.

http://www.bitlanders.com/blogs/marvellous-spatuletail/3130378

http://www.peafowl.org/

https://www.beautyofbirds.com/raggianabirdofparadise.html  –> Scroll down until you find the female one.

I love the pic, and I think it will make a perfect book cover. In the past, I’ve had Tazia Hall help me, but I’ll be tackling this one myself—with my own art. Sort of a leap for me. I want to make this cover look like it’s the cover of a magazine.

One problem: I’m not so good with my photo editing software. I’m passable, but . . .

My vision for Jessica is to have her outfit all sparkly. I’m not sure how I’m going to accomplish that.

But that’s a post for another day.

Book 6 will be coming soon. Stay tuned!

-:heart: M.R. Anglin

Why Horror is Horrifying

Hey, all!

Before I start on this, let me disclaim it. This is my opinion. If you don’t agree, please comment and say so. Just be respectful . . . not to say this is a controversial topic. I just think that there are different opinions out there, and I want to hear them–especially since I don’t watch horror often . . . it’s too scary. And I know there are horror writers out there. I’d like to hear what you all think.

***

Horror is a smart genre. Now, I’m not talking about the horrific, gory, messy kind of horror or the type with evil creatures that suck on human souls. The type of horror I’m thinking of is the kind that worms its way into your brain while you’re watching or reading it, causing you to jump at every sound and making you look over your shoulder long after you’ve finished it. That sort of horror may or may not have violence, gore, or evil creatures.

Why do I think it’s smart? Think about it. When you break down the storyline and think about it logically, it’s really silly. Take these three examples,

A flock of birds descends on a house and pecks the living daylights out of everyone who ventures forth. (The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock)

Statues of crying angels move when a person’s not looking and zaps him into the past when they touch him. (Dr. Who Episode 3.10 “Blink”)

Watching a video of random images causes the television to turn on, after which a small child to climbs out of it to murder the watcher. (The Ring)

To an ordinary, thinking person these scenarios are ridiculous. They shouldn’t cause you to turn and look over your shoulder or stay up at night in fear. Yet, these three shows scared the living daylights out of me, and I’d like to think I’m an intelligent person.

Now, there’s a lot to be said about word choice, color choice, music, etc. that create an ambiance that scares you further. (The Ring wasn’t filmed in subdued colors for nothing.) But why do some movies and books haunt the audience more than others?

In my opinion, the key is simple. They take an innocent or normal object and make it behave unnaturally. Why else do you think kids are so scary? Children are the epitome of innocence. When you’ve got a child being a heartless killing machine, it’s more frightening. And (and perhaps I’m being gender biased) it’s worse when it’s a little girl.

Same with birds. Pretty birds fill the air with song and beauty. Take those birds and make them swarm and rampage, and you get a horror filled nightmare. Don’t think the movie could have had as much punch if they used a bunch of hawks.

As for the Dr. Who episode . . . it has a double-punch. Not only are angels supposed to be creatures of good, but statues aren’t supposed to move. Yet these angel statues are covering their eyes, moving, and are planning evil for the main characters. Combine all that together and you turn the creep factor all the way up to 10.

While I don’t enjoy the genre, I do think horror is smart. How else can you take such ridiculous storylines and make intelligent people believe it enough to scare them? Take that into account the next time you write or read.

What about you?

Do you agree/disagree? What else adds to a scary or suspenseful story? What is the appeal to being scared out of your skull?