Sheila Lowe on What Came Next
Sheila Lowe

Sheila Lowe on What Came Next

Sheila Lowe is the author of two mystery series. Her work as a forensic handwriting analyst inspired the Claudia Rose series. Her other series is Beyond the Veil. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here.

Book cover of Poison Pen by Sheila Lowe

When was the last time you moved to a new house/apartment/office? How many boxes did you pack? How long did it take to pack them? How many pieces of furniture had to be loaded into the moving van? And how much junk did you throw away with a sigh of relief? Whether you moved across town or across country, the same basic prep work had to be done. Exhausting, right? But there’s an upside: it’s a new beginning. You arrive at the new location ready to start over; arranging things better. Everything looks bright and shiny and wonderful.

In my last post, I talked about jumping off a cliff—taking back my publishing rights and going independent. A lot has happened in the intervening months, including establishing my own publishing imprint/house, Write Choice Ink, and moving all my titles over. ‘The Write Choice!’ bas been my business tagline since I went fulltime as a handwriting expert in 1989, so this made sense.

With my right arm and leg, Victoria Rydberg Nania, doing the heavy lifting—formatting (and reformatting, and reformatting again because I keep changing things); uploading (and reuploading and reuploading again because I keep changing things), and countless other pre-pub necessary tasks, and with Terry Rydberg producing ten fabulous new covers, my job has been to edit and rewrite all the books.

There are eight in the Claudia Rose Forensic Handwriting mystery-suspense series, and two in the Beyond the Veil paranormal suspense series. Looking back, I ask myself, if I’d known just how much work would be needed to revisit ten books in about three months, would I do it again? The answer is a resounding Y E S. And here’s why…

Book cover of Dead Letters by Sheila Lowe

In 2007, when Poison Pen, the first book in the series (followed by the next three) I was still learning to make the big switch from nonfiction. The books were good enough for Penguin to publish them, but I’ve learned a lot about writing since then, and I like to believe I’m better at it now. So, when I started re-reading PP, I was embarrassed by the overwriting (the scene in the sex dungeon had to be toned down), and the repetition. Tightening it meant ruthlessly cutting six thousand words, and I am proud of the new edition. 

Happily, each book needed less work as I applied what I was learning. The one other that needed a shaking up was What She Saw, a book I especially love (I know, how can you pick your favorite child?!). Dead Letters, being new, got draft after draft after draft. 

Finishing this part of the project was as satisfying as it was grueling. By the time you read this, most of the books will be back out in the world and we’re gearing up for the August 3rd release of DL. Decorating this new house is going to be a ton of work, but I can’t wait to see the results. 

Sheila Lowe

Sheila Lowe is a real-life forensic handwriting expert and author whose Forensic Handwriting mystery series features Claudia Rose, whose career as a document examiner and handwriting analyst mirrors Sheila’s own, and the Beyond the Veil Series about a young woman who reluctantly communicates with dead people who want her to do stuff for them. Follow Sheila on her website, claudiaroseseries.com, or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Laurie Buchanan

    Sheila — Congratulations on taking the plunge. Your move? Brilliant!

  2. Sherrill Joseph

    Sheila, yes, what a great feeling when purging one’s life of “junk” and moving on, be it a home or cleaning up text. You’ve done much work–and you’re still standing. Brava! Thanks for this post.

  3. Joy Ann Ribar

    Sheila, I love your comparison of changing publishers and re-releasing to moving. It’s perfect. I cannot imagine the work you’ve dedicated in the past months! Best wishes — those new readers are out there waiting for you.

  4. Sheila – I’m feeling brave enough now to revisit some of my earlier releases and maybe rewrite them. Maybe not right away. But thanks for sharing your process.

    1. Sheila Lowe

      It’s a really wonderful feeling to know you’re giving it your best again, now that you’ve had more practice! Good luck with it when you do.

  5. Saralyn Richard

    I’m full of admiration for you! I hope this new venture turns into your most exciting and fulfilling ever.

  6. Sheila, congratulations on making this choice, organizing all this work, finding awesome people to help, and getting the job done! I really admire what you’ve accomplished. And the beginning of your blog, where you talk about moving, I’m about to face all that! After 40 years, it’s daunting, but I’m sure that when it’s done, it will feel wonderful! I’m so happy for you!

    1. Sheila Lowe

      Thank you, Margaret, I’ve been extremely blessed and could not have done it on my own. I’ve published in KDP in non-fiction before, but this is far more complex. Good luck to you on this wonderful opportunity to start fresh!

  7. Sharon Lynn

    Congratulations, Sheila! I find your story inspiring and am so glad you shared your experience!

  8. Tracey Phillips

    Congratulations Sheila! I’m so happy for you! I’ll be following you–to see if I should follow in your footsteps. My journey will be much easier (one book). You are an inspiration!

  9. Sheila Lowe

    Thank you, Tracey. Ten books was a lot of work, but from my standpoint, I recommend it.

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