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.
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…
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.