Adventures In Writing: Update


Authors Allison Amend (L.) and A. Yamina Collins (the black chic in blue!)

Well, I am nearing the finish line of The Last King. Having just completed episode #10 (to be published in a few days), I am now hard at work on episode #11. After that, there will be only one more episode to go and book one will be complete.


But then another round of edits must be done.

Yes, I know the book is already published. I put it out there to see what readers would think of it and I’ve been very encouraged by the response.

Nonetheless, there is much work to be done. I feel like the book is 60% of what I want it to be. It’s a good book. But now I am on the hunt of making it a great book, and maybe selling it to a major publishing house. If I can. We’ll see. Thanks to the fans I can count on two hands who’ve had great things to say about it!

Long live Gilead and Emmy!

In the meantime, I haven’t just been sitting around writing. I have been enjoying the spring, going out for walks, hanging out with friends, and generally enjoying life. I also had the pleasure recently of attending a book signing by one of my fellow Paragraph writers, Allison Amend, whose book Enchanted Islands is now in its second addition.

Allison was wonderfully engaging with the audience (as a writer should be), and I learned that it took her four years to write and research her novel. This tidbit of info made me feel good, as I am now 3 and a half years into the process of writing The Last King. Yes, three and a half years and it still ain’t done.

But, hey, we can’t all be Stephen King or James Patterson and churn out a new book every week!

Where was I? Oh, yes. I was inspired by Allison’s tenacious efforts, but also eager to learn about her process for writing historical fiction. My own novel incorporates bits of history, and it’s always a challenge to take real people and weave their lives into the fabric of your own (sometimes) twisted imagination.

Ah! To be in a room surrounded by books. Smile.

Ah! To be in a room surrounded by books. Smile.

What I think I understood from Allison is that some point, you can’t worry too much about absolute truths in historical fiction because, well, it’s fiction, and you’re trying to tell a story, which means you’re going to bend things a bit (or a lot) to get your story told the way you want it told.

(Note to readers…historical fiction is still fiction, even with bits of truth laced in. So go do research on historical figures and don’t trust everything someone like Dan Brown in The DaVinci Code says -boy was that a bad “history” book).

Anyway, congratulations Allison, and thanks for a pleasant evening in New York at the Strand Bookstore. I loved it. Plus it was a nice night to have free cheese, crackers and wine (I skipped the wine, though).



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