Thursday, October 27, 2011


The first bit of good news is that Foreign Flavors has been published, an anthology of foodie stories chosen by Writers Abroad.  My story about a favorite Greek dish "Arni Kleftiko" (Bandit's Lamb) is included in the collection.  Proceeds go to a good charitable cause.  So get your copies now.  I think it will make a nice Christmas gift for some of my friends and family members.

Get it here:

My next bit of news is in regards to the status of my novel "Shadow of the Lion".  I have completed a few rounds of editing and cutting and will launch into another one this weekend.  Last week I attended the Surrey International Writer's Conference with the intention of making some editor/agent appointments, but was only successful with one. None of the people I most wanted to see were available.  I did get some good tips and this was concerning word length and numbers of points of view.  My novel is way over the acceptable word length and it's going to mean major cutting.  I also have too many points of view so I have to decide which ones I can eliminate without spoiling the flow of the narrative.  I'll be starting work on this by the weekend.

Meanwhile, in spite of being disappointed about the results of the conference a writer friend has since directed me to her own editor with high recommendations. I was sorry I missed some good presentations at the conference. I stood in line waiting to book an agent or editor all during historical fiction author Margaret George's presentation and it was one feature I really wanted to attend. However I did get in for the last 5 minutes and asked a few questions, then spoke to her briefly on my own later. And because of the two agent appointments I wasn't able to take in as much of the other presentations of my choice but did get some good tips about pitching and queries.

After that full day at the conference, the next day I taught an all-day memoir writing group which was excellent.  Then on Sunday morning at my journalism class, it was disrupted by a crazy woman who burst in two hours late and hurled insults at me and the class as well as physically attacking me.  Very upsetting!  I was barely getting over that and had classes every morning until today as well as one night school class. Fortunately, most of them went well other than my yesterday's Write from the Heart group where there were some small disruptions.  And it isn't even a full moon?

Well today the sun is out and I should hurry with these little blog tasks and get myself out for a nice walk.  I'll post more news about the editing of Shadow of the Lion and other writing news as soon as I get some time.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I've had my nose to buried in my manuscript of Shadow of the Lion for hours most days lately getting the editing done.  The critique and reading notes my friends have helped me with have been so much appreciated.  So now I have the pages marked up what to correct and what to eliminate, I must start the final cuts.  For me, anyway.  Because I will try to get a professional editor to do the absolute final work.  It's just too difficult for me to be objective about how much or what needs to be eliminated and a professional editor will be able to do that without any problem.  Of course, it's going to cost me!  But that's all part of the publishing game.

Ancient Writing Implements

Next, I have to start working on my synopsis. Although I've had one written for some time, it isn't quite right and the synopsis must be perfect.  It's your ticket into the publisher's office.  And to get it really in acceptable shape I'll have to pay to have that edited as well.  I've heard that can cost up to $100 hour.  At least it's only 5 or 6 pages and I'll try to get it as perfect as possible before I submit it to an editor.

Then there is the Forward and Afterword, the Cast of Characters and the Glossary.  Thankfully my friend Renate has compiled a pretty good glossary for me while she was doing the reading critique.

I'm attending the Surrey International Writer's Conference on Friday.  I paid to go the whole day, hoping to get appointments with a couple of specific agents but unfortunately they were not available.  I have chosen someone else who does historical fiction.  Usually I volunteer at the Conference and thought this would give me a chance to nab other editors/agents in the hotel lobby or at the workshops, however now I have to teach classes on both Saturday and Sunday so will only be able to attend the one day.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I can make some good contacts.

A lot of people have asked "Have you got your novel published yet?"  They have no idea of the amount of work it takes to get the manuscript into the hands of an agent/publisher.  I've also been asked if I'll self-publish or go through one of the popular small presses, but because Shadow of the Lion is an epic story and literary fiction, I prefer to first try the bigger publishing houses.  I do have a couple of 'leads' however if that fails.  So, wish me luck.  The writing tasks are almost over.  Now comes the read hard work!
Alexander's Name in Hieroglyphics