Published!

Vanity in Dust is officially published!

I’m supposed to just say that I’m crazy happy and scream/giggle a lot but let’s be honesty–authors are usually a mixed bag when it comes to emotions. The week leading up to today, I was a mild wreck. I had trouble sleeping and focusing. I threw myself into any basic project or task I could get my hands on and watched unreasonable amounts of drama to distract myself. I even cleaned. I was outright twitchy.

Vanity in Dust was a labor of love and obsession and it’s now my first published novel. I was equal parts happy and terrified.

The week before today, before publication day, I was hit by this tidal wave of doubt that I was not prepared for. I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t expect it. But it showed up and I did everything I could to ignore it. I ran hard from that wave and pulled every trick from my bag to avoid sinking under it. And then, just as suddenly as it came, it was gone. Sometime yesterday, I stopped being anxious. I stopped worrying. I think it was the inevitability of today–that it was finally upon me and I had made it–that brought this calm.

Turns out, publishing is like getting to the top of a mountain that a part of you was never really willing to believe you’d be able to climb. Or at least, it was for me. I have this pessimistic voice in my heart that I try hard to ignore, but it’s always there, whispering to keep me from getting too hyped or too dependent on something. It warned me, even though everything was set and ready, that there’s always someone waiting to pull the rug out from underfoot.

Well, fuck the pessimist because today I’m published!

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The Cover of Vanity in Dust!

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I think I’ve had a unique experience as far as book covers go. Linn Arvidsson, the cover artist, is one of my beta readers. She reads absolutely everything I write and rereads it when I make big changes. I don’t think Vanity in Dust has a bigger fan in the world. So, I felt completely at ease when she contacted my publisher about doing the cover art. I’ve seen her work before and she knows the story.

After tossing around a bunch of ideas, she decided to do a photoshoot to make her own stockpile of pictures. Not just for this cover, but for the next couple covers. Luckily for us, my husband is not only the perfect model for Vaun Dray Fen, but also has an ever-growing collection of suits and vests. We did the photoshoot the same weekend Phong and I were in Umeå to get married.

The flowers on the table are actually ones I reused from my bouquet. The gold cup, I spray painted myself. And all of the treats are very real. We ate the ones that survived the shoot afterward. We brought enough treats and porcelain to redress the table three times and Phong managed to change his hair as well as his outfit each time too.

It was so much fun to be a part of the making of the cover, or at least there to watch it happen, and I am so happy with how it turned out. Linn is amazing!

Also check out her blog here!

And you can add Vanity in Dust to your Goodreads here!

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Writing Update – Editing

20150520_132048I am ecstatic to share that my book is going to be published with World Weaver Press.

There is a lot of editing ahead but I am so looking forward to it! I can’t wait to get Vanity in Dust in perfect shape for publishing and out into the world.

This will be my first published work. It is honestly a dream come true. I had some communication with the publisher during the query process and knew that things were going pretty well since I was still being considered but when I got the email that they were interested in publishing me, I cried. It was a bit embarrassing because I was at the gym.

I am so excited to be working with my editor at World Weaver to get Vanity in Dust ready for publication. It’s already been a fantastic experience and I’ve only just started.

I’m in the first round of substantive edits. Wish me luck because it sounds like there will be more!

-cheryl

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Hopes High

The publisher I’m planning to send my book to only takes submissions three months out of the year. This has created an interesting issue in that I have been ready to send it off to them for the past two months. I gave Vain (said book) another read through on the computer, printed it and read it through once more in an attempt to catch any mistakes I missed and anything I no longer liked.

I wrote this book in 2011, I think. I have since written the two following books, an urban fantasy that needs some serious polishing and then, this last summer, a post-apocalyptic zombie story (in an attempt to try something different). So, to go back and reread Vain after all of those was actually really fun and there were definitely some things I caught that I don’t think I would have seen at all a few years ago.

Printing it out and reading it on paper was also incredibly useful. I realized that when I was editing the zombie book. I feel like I catch a lot more mistakes, or just words used to closely to one another, on paper that I somehow missed when reading on my computer.

Back to the pending query though, I am getting really anxious. I’ve sent Vanity in Dust (affectionately called Vain) to a handful of agents over the years and, obviously, had no luck. I came across World Weaver Press a while back when I was entertaining the idea of writing short stories (turns out that short is not my skill). They are absolutely everything I ever wanted. Personal, professional, socially available and competent. Plus, their covers are lovely. It’s petty but come on, who doesn’t care?

The problem? The time I have had to build up the hope of being a part of this publishing group. Hope is as dangerous as it is powerful. I want it. I would usually avoid even talking about it for fear of how I’ll feel when it passes me by, but that’s not very honest. The truth is that I want to be published. I want to be heard. And I want this publisher to be the publisher and this year to be the year.

So, there’s a bit of honesty and a glimpse at the inner wants of a writer not yet author.

Someday.

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