Archive for March, 2007

Publishing Update: Editorial Evaluation

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

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In some senses, I suppose self-publishing is a supreme act of self-indulgence. Nevertheless, I actually thought it might be helpful for other budding writers, whose books might not neatly align with what mainstream publishers are looking for (like satirical novels of Canadian politics for instance), to tag along on my little self-publishing journey, such as it is. So periodically, I’ll provide these little updates on where I am in the process.

Earlier this week, I received my official Editorial Evaluation from iUniverse, the publishing house I’m using through Chapters.Indigo.ca. The publishing package I chose included a professional review of my manuscript from a seasoned editor. As you might imagine, my stomach was not quite feeling like my own as I clicked open the evaluation. With eyes squinted and face clenched, I whipped through the evaluation. How do you spell RELIEF?

All was well. I found it to be a very thoughtful and insightful review of the novel. The editor clearly read it carefully, all the way through. I believe the editor was American but only through the spelling in the evaluation not because anything written revealed any lack of understanding of Canadian politics. There were only two minor suggestions for changes and I have taken them to heart… mostly. Firstly, I have shortened the Prologue somewhat so that the pace is sustained. Secondly, the editor suggested I give consideration to eliminating the Angus diary entries that conclude most chapters so that his character emerges only through Daniel’s eyes. Interesting idea and I understand the editor’s rationale. Having said that, I feel quite attached to Angus’s point of view and the shades of his personality and character that are revealed to the reader, but not necessarily to Daniel, in these brief entries. Based on my own thoughts and the views of a small circle of friends who have read the manuscript (thank you, thank you, thank you) I’ve decided to go part way, recognizing that my proximity to the novel likely compromises my perspective somewhat. I have shortened the diary entries to ease the interruptions in Daniel’s narrative, but they’re staying in the story. As always, your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

One milestone survived in the long road to print. Next stop, professional copy editing for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and syntax… (not inexpensive, but worth every penny I figure.)

I leave you with a couple of the summary comments made by the iUniverse editor in the official Editorial Evaluation of The Best Laid Plans:

“The story moves along at an enjoyable pace throughout. The energy of Daniel, Angus and the other characters flows off the page and readers will become quite attached to these characters. Most of all, though, the voice the book is written in is original and engaging — just the perfect amounts of earnestness and cynicism mixed together.”

“The quality of the writing is high. The writer goes beyond merely giving an account of the action and enhances it describing it and commenting on it in clever ways (“The Chief of Staff’s left eyebrow lifted in a Spockian arch.” etc.).”

Breathing easier now…

Chapter 11: March 30, 2007

Friday, March 30th, 2007

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This week, we start Part 2 with Chapter 11 including: Daniel takes Angus to Parliament Hill, the Library of Parliament, and the House of Commons; Angus is sworn in; Daniel briefs Angus on their Centre Block and constitutency offices; Angus meets the Leader of the Opposition; Daniel and Angus play chess; Angus writes in his diary.

Comments are invited right here on the blog or send me an e-mail to [email protected]. Thanks for listening. Next week, Chapter 12.

The great music featured in the podcast is by Jon Schmidt and is called Winter Serenade. It is available from the Podsafe Music Network. My friend Roger Dey provides the voice that opens the podcast. The photo at the top of the blog page was taken by, and is used with permission from, Mr. Ron Boisvert.

We’re shooting up the iTunes rankings…

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

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A friend just pointed out that The Best Laid Plans is number #32 in the Canadian iTunes Top Podcasts listing, in the Arts category and Literature subcategory. Apparently, we also sat for some time in the “New and Notable” window. I have absolutely no idea what it means or how it’s measured. I just think it’s kind of neat (and we’re ahead of the Barnes and Noble Meet the Writers podcast at #42, one of my must-listen podcasts!). Many thanks for listening and pushing TBLP up the charts… whatever it means!

Chapter 10: March 23, 2007

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

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(Saturday, March 24th: Apologies, but I made an editing error when mixing this Chapter so some of you early risers may have downloaded a version that has me talking over myself at about the 20 minute mark.  I’ve now re-edited and re-posted the file.)

This week, Chapter 10, including: On election day, Daniel and the two Petes work hard to save Angus from victory; Daniel drives NDP voters to the polls; Daniel commiserates with Muriel; Daniel skinny-dips in the frigid river before watching the election returns; Daniel drives to the airport to meet Angus;  Angus addresses the media horde; Angus writes in his diary.

Comments are invited right here on the blog or send me an e-mail to [email protected]. Thanks for listening. Next week, we start Part 2 with Chapter 11.

The great music featured in the podcast is by Jon Schmidt and is called Winter Serenade. It is available from the Podsafe Music Network. My friend Roger Dey provides the voice that opens the podcast. The photo at the top of the blog page was taken by, and is used with permission from, Mr. Ron Boisvert.

Chapter 9: March 16, 2007

Friday, March 16th, 2007

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This week, Chapter 9 including: Daniel watches too much television; Daniel goes on TV to staunch the bleeding; the Prime Minister cuts Cameron loose; Daniel and Lindsay lunch together; Daniel and pollster Zaleski discuss some new C-P numbers; Angus writes in his diary and starts the long trip home from Papua New Guinea.

Comments are invited right here on the blog or send me an e-mail to [email protected]. Thanks for listening. Next week, Chapter 10.

The great music featured in the podcast is by Jon Schmidt and is called Winter Serenade. It is available from the Podsafe Music Network. My friend Roger Dey provides the voice that opens the podcast. The photo at the top of the blog page was taken by, and is used with permission from, Mr. Ron Boisvert.

Publishing Update: Manuscript submitted

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

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Just to keep you up to speed on my publishing travails, I am self-publishing The Best Laid Plans through iUniverse.  I’ve just submitted the manuscript and have finalized the cover design, thanks to my good friend Steve Palmer at 76design.  (The jpeg above doesn’t quite do it justice. As noted in an earlier post, and if you can’t quite read the fine print, the quotation at the top is from the Hon. Allan Rock.) The manuscript is now being reviewed by an editor and I should have feedback within the next three weeks.  The process takes some time but all the deadlines are in place giving me only a few weeks to resubmit my revised manuscript following the editor’s review and recommendations.  Eventually, if all goes well, The Best Laid Plans could be available through Amazon and Indigo as early as the summer.  My stomach is knots now that an editor is reviewing it.  I’ll keep you posted.

Chapter 8: March 9, 2007

Friday, March 9th, 2007

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This week, Chapter 8 including: Daniel confronts an Internet-happy student; Daniel talks with the two Petes; Andre Fontaine breathlessly calls Daniel; Fire at Petra Borschart’s house; Eric Cameron is collared; Daniel watches the news and assesses the damage; Angus writes in his diary in Papau New Guinea.

Comments are invited right here on the blog or send me an e-mail to [email protected]. Thanks for listening. Next week, Chapter 8.

The great music featured in the podcast is by Jon Schmidt and is called Winter Serenade. It is available from the Podsafe Music Network. My friend Roger Dey provides the voice that opens the podcast. The photo at the top of the blog page was taken by, and is used with permission from, Mr. Ron Boisvert

The Hon. Allan Rock is in the house…

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

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This is a funny book that could only have been written by someone with firsthand knowledge of politics in Canada, including its occasionally absurd side. It is a great read for anyone thinking of running for office, and especially reassuring for those who have decided not to.”

The Hon. Allan Rock, former Justice Minister and Canadian UN Ambassador

Over the years, I’ve been very lucky to have met and spent time with many outstanding public servants and politicians.  The conversations I’ve had with Allan Rock on many different topics rank up near the top for me.  He may not remember, but before he even secured the nomination for his first and successful run for federal office, we spent a day together helping our mutual friend Tom Allison run the Hon. David Collenette’s nomination meeting.  I knew that day he’d go far.  Later, we spent time together in a hospital room supporting a very close friend we share.  Allan is thoughtful, intelligent, articulate, and passionate about public service.  Allan Rock is also very generous.  You can imagine how thrilled I am that he’s provided the kind words above to support my humble novel. 

Allan, thanks so much for reading it in the first place, for liking it, and for going public.  I’m grateful, and no longer as anxiety-ridden as I was when you were reading it.

Chapter 7: March 1, 2007

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

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This week, Chapter 7 including: Daniel attends a polling presentation at the national campaign office; Daniel visits with Muriel; Daniel briefs Angus on the numbers (Angus laughs till he cries); Daniel marks book reports while Angus writes in his diary.

Comments are invited right here on the blog or send me an e-mail to [email protected]. Thanks for listening. Next week, Chapter 8.

The great music featured in the podcast is by Jon Schmidt and is called Winter Serenade. It is available from the Podsafe Music Network. My friend Roger Dey provides the voice that opens the podcast. The photo at the top of the blog page was taken by, and is used with permission from, Mr. Ron Boisvert.