COLOSSUS – My Name Is Not Heather Stokes, Book 1

I keep clicking through my open tabs and hitting “Refresh.” Why? Because I finally submitted COLOSSUS for publication on Amazon. It is currently “in review,” and what I originally read as 12 hours now says 72 hours. This is the nerve-wracking part of the process, because I’m worried they may reject the book cover based on some standard of violence (I know they don’t allow covers that portray guns).

I am shocked to say that the entire journey of this novel occurred in one year and two months. I have pinpointed the post on my Facebook indicating the date on which is occurred – 18 September.

Originally, I was going to write a series of short stories, because I needed practice writing short stories. I wrote most of them, but they lacked a beginning. When I started the beginning, it got a bit out of hand. I ended up with a novella resembling COLOSSUS (Although the Colossus theme had not been added yet). As I developed the narrative and added detail, I ended up with enough ideas for a trilogy rather than a single novel: COLOSSUS, Two Guns, and RUIN (Inside the house, outside the house, and after the house).

Although the narrative and story remained consistent, I changed as a writer significantly. Maybe one day I’ll find a way to post my original documents. You can even go back to the initial posts in this blog and follow my path.

  • I started out supporting traditional publishing, and ended up converted to indie publishing (Moran Publishing is an indie-hybrid publishing house). Someday I’ll send a project off to be published traditionally, but not My Name Is Not Heather Stokes. I want absolute control of this project, from the character names to the cover art (I fight enough with my brother over how the covers should look).
  • I learned to let go of [most of] my adverbs and “said” tags, as well as a few other structural tips.
  • I learned “show, don’t tell.” Body language not only goes further, but paints a more vivid picture and characterizes better.
  • Over-sharing is sometimes a good thing: My editor, Michael Keenan, told me that my manuscript was already in near-perfect condition when I sent it to him in September. I can take maybe 30% credit for that. The other percentage goes to the plethora of people I bombarded with copies and scenes (Joshua Lavender and Sam Vanegas mostly, but there are many others). They gave me feed-back and pointed out typos. This should also include #1lineWed, and all the combing I did while finding lines and excerpts to post for that.
  • I am not a patient person, but writing and publishing requires patience. I started to query COLOSSUS when I finished the first draft in April. Go ahead – laugh. Get it out of your system. I know NOW it wasn’t ready back then. Since then, I added several scenes developing the other characters, combed, groomed, molded, and loved on it. Toward the end, I relied heavily on my publisher to tell me, It’s ready. Release it into the wild.

And now, it’s being published.

And by NOW, I mean, as I was composing this blog, I clicked over to Amazon and refreshed, and it has been approved, and it now “Publishing”!

And now it’s LIVE! Holy sh*t! I have a published novel!


(Phoenix Rising soon to follow.)



For outside the U.S.:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s