Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Eleanore Gray Update

Before we get to today's blog, I want to let everyone know (who doesn't already) that my book Indian Princess will be released in March of 2012--just one year away! It'll have a new title by then, but the countdown has officially begun!

Now, back to this blog in progress.

Remember this blog from last April on my grandmother Goldie's book, Eleanore Gray? Well, it's almost done!

Here's what's been happening. I expanded the ending. When I got to the original ending, it glossed over the happily ever after in favor of a recap of the local townsfolk. To me, it felt like it was not only cheating the readers out of closure, but that Eleanore deserved better. The poor woman had suffered a great deal--she deserved a little happiness, too. Upon conferring with my Uncle Jim, Mom, and Dad, we also added a section about how Eleanore's children were a vital part of the happily ever after, too.

I made some editing changes, too. I am one of those obnoxious people who believes you need a comma before the 'and' in a list of three things. I believe it's called an Oxford comma. Goldie did not subscribe to the Oxford comma theory. I added a lot of commas before Dad also told me he didn't like those commas, to which I told him, 'It's too late. I'm not taking them back out." We're in a tense, comma-based d├ętente.

I also took out a few 'historical' terms for African Americans. Times have changed since Goldie was working on this book. Let's just leave it at that.

Beyond that, though, the major addition to this book is what I'm calling "The Collective Biography of Goldie Lucas." You see, people who remember important things about Goldie, like where she was born and how old she was when she married my grandfather, are harder and harder to come by. I asked Dad to do an 'About the Author' for me, and he only had so much to work with. And with three of Goldie's children already passed on, tracking down stories was a challenge, to say the least.

So we dug deeper. Mom found a folder labelled 'Reminisces' that my Uncle Luke, the oldest of the nine kids, had typed up four months before he died. Mom and I emailed various cousins in an attempt to find other memories. It took months to track something for everyone, but in the end, we had each of Goldie's nine children represented. I added my own part about working on this book, too.

After that, it went through line edits, where the Lovely Mary, Grammar Goddess, read the whole thing with a red pen in hand. I missed a lot of commas, and while I don't mess up 'which' and 'that' in my own writing too much, I missed it in this book entirely. Plus, I will never, ever get the hang of 'toward' versus 'towards.' The Lovely Mary has explained this to me several times--with increasing levels of firmness--and I still blow it. Every time.

Up to now, this has been a project where I've been familiar with all the steps. But with the text now edited and finished, I'm about to head right on over to 'clueless.' Yes. It's time to actually publish this baby!

I've got a cover image picked out, and the back cover text ready to go. I'm hiring my dear friend Leah Hanlin of Blue Sky Design to format the book into trade paperback size and get the cover set up for me. One of the problems I've seen with self-published books is that the 8 1/2 x 11 inch Word Document page gets shrunk down to fit whatever page size the author chooses, leading to a 7 point font. Needless to say, 7 point fonts are not going to win the hearts and minds of seniors, who would be my target audience (esp. those to whom I am related).

After we get the formatting done and the cover finalized, I'm going to run Eleanore Gray through Amazon's self-publishing arm, CreateSpace. I'll also have it up as a Kindle e-book, so any time you want to get a copy of it, it'll be there.

In a few weeks, I'll tell you more about the actual book--who these people are, who would enjoy reading it, etc. But, like all good things, you have to wait for it!

6 comments:

Mary D. said...

It's a good story. I think a lot of people will want to check it out. Talent really runs in the family!

Mary (a.k.a. Grammar Goddess)

Sarah M. Anderson said...

Thanks, Lovely Mary! I'm so glad you liked it!

lucylucia said...

woo hoo! (1) I think it's super sweet of you to take on such a big project and (2) I think it is awesome. I want a copy!

Carolyn said...

I think this is such a wonderful fitting tribute to a wonderful lady. It is such a labor of love....

Shay said...

a) Can't wait to get the romance. b) Can't believe how fast you're getting things done. Keep it up!
c) Vampire Weekend has a song about Oxford commas. It's not very pro-oxford commas, but I am. Optional-shmoptional.

Therese said...

Good luck with the Amazon publishing experience! I'll be interested to see how it goes for you!