I love polishing my manuscripts. Though few things compare to writing the last sentence of a first draft, the feeling I got late Friday night (okay, early Saturday morning), was pretty amazing. That’s when I finished my final edit of Live with the Truth, the first novella I’ve ever written that will serve as the first installment of my new Bartholomew Beck series with Fawkes Press.
Now, I’m not talking about the manuscript revisions. Or the two changes that came after two rounds of developmental edits from the team at Fawkes Press. I’m talking about tapping each word with a red pen (okay, mine was blue), asking “does this one need to be here?”, and over a thousand times saying no.
I do not love the time it takes. But I absolutely love finished product.
I also usually find a small section or paragraph that I forgot I wrote. It’ll take me by surprise as a reader, and I’ll tweak it and be proud of putting it out into the world. Here’s one I found this weekend in Live with the Truth I wanted to share with everyone.
Every punishment began that way. In his house, the corner was in the den, where Shayla’s father did much of his work. He would make her stand there, silent, nose toward the intersecting walls as he worked on the week’s sermon or other church business. When he was ready, sometimes hours later, she would hear leather slipping through denim loops, like the serpent sliding toward her. Then the venom. The bite.
(Everyone who is signed up for my newsletter will get a free digital copy of Live with the Truth via email on March 1. To subscribe, click here, or click on the book cover above. New subscribers from March 1 through March 31 will get a free copy upon subscribing. The novella will then be available for purchase on Amazon.)
Wendy Heard is one of my favorite authors (and not just because our debut thrillers were published the same month), and Gabino Iglesias is one of the best writers in Texas (hearing him read at a Noir at the Bar is something everyone should all experience). They came together for an awesome interview recently in the LA Review of Books. A Murder Club Instruction Manual: An Interview with Wendy Heard (LA Review of Books)
Speaking of Gabino, he rounded up some of the best small presses dedicated to publishing amazing crime fiction for CrimeReads. The Best Small Presses Publishing Crime Fiction Today (CrimeReads)
(Fictional) Dysfunction in Washington
I’ve been watching The West Wing on Netflix at night when I feel like a little TV because it’s a bit of a masterclass in dialogue from Aaron Sorkin. Then yesterday, I caught a bit of White House Down on cable. So, it seems only fitting I share this BookBub list of thrillers surrounding POTUS. 11 Thrillers With Presidential Plots (BookBub)
Meahwhile, in Texas (and the rest of the West)
The Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association has announced its nominees for the Reading the West Book Awards. I won’t tell you who my favorites are (secret ballots and all that), but there are a lot of great stories and authors represented. And the Nominees Are … (ReadingTheWest.com)