What are your hobbies? Mine are sewing and reading. Since 2015, I have added publishing books to the list.
Under the Wings of a Good Luck Phoenix was first submitted to Book Baby, a publishing company that encourages and supports writers who don’t publish traditionally. My book manuscript file was well-edited numerous times and the front and back covers were completed. All was sent to the publisher in November 2015.
The following day I was notified that my 90-year-old mother was in the hospital with pneumonia. I flew to Las Vegas on Thanksgiving to be with her. While there, I received the first proof from Book Baby, but never had a chance to review it. I was with Mother every day for ten days as she was dying. By the time I was able to check the proof, Mother was dead and the proof file was gone.
Under the Wings of a Good Luck Phoenix was first published Feb 8, 2016. That year I learned a great deal about publishing. I learned a memoir should have a picture of the author on the cover. I learned the word “memoir” needs to be somewhere in the title, and I learned that no book should be published without closely examining the proof.
After major changes to the cover and minor changes to the text, I published again with IngramSpark on Dec 9, 2016.
Under the Wings of a Good Luck Phoenix was read by author/editor Juris Jurjevics (Red Flags, A novel of soldiers and spies in the Highlands of Vietnam). He contacted me and we worked through 2017, incorporating many of his suggestions to improve my story.
Just as I was ready to publish the Second Revision, hurricane season hit. Plans were in turmoil and projects arrested. In September, Roger and I became RVers (Refugee Vacationers without a recreational vehicle). We didn’t return to Florida until September 30. A few weeks later, I submitted the manuscript file I had been working on, received the proofs the next day from IngramSpark, but never checked them. Things were so hectic upon our return, and I felt I had submitted a perfect book file.
When I read the new edition published November 2017, I was horrified. There were so many errors it appeared to have no editor. All through December, I focused on correcting the copy before sending a new file to IngramSpark. When the proof returned, I carefully checked it without fear of disruption from family deaths or hurricane evacuations.
It’s a good thing I began my author’s journey as a learning experience. After many years, my editor, Lee Helscel said the writing and publishing of my memoir was a hobby. I had to agree with him. Just as hobbyists enjoy learning and improving, I’ve also experienced these pleasures. It is my hobby to craft the best story I can about my nine-month sojourn in Viet Nam.