Writing a young adult novel

Every writer should attend conferences or classes to improve their craft. I attended the 34th Annual Western Reserve Writer’s Conference Sept. 23 at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library. The event was free and had a variety of workshops and speakers.

What you need to know about the Young Adult market by J T Dutton, assistant professor of English and creative writing at Hiram College and author to two teen novels.

Know the voice of a teen – the want to make their own decisions and stakes are high

  1. Love is first love, crushing love, eternal love
  2. Story about loss – first loss, excruciating loss
  3. Adventure – fate of world hangs in balance

Don’t teach a lesson; celebrate a complex, deeply felt phase of life.

See the world at the teen’s level who has to work out problems herself.

Teens like complicated stories with social problems – characters can be good and bad at the same time.

The protagonist discovers right and wrong for herself.

Use reasoning, humor, and emotion to express teen.

Teens push against the moral code and want to figure right and wrong out for themselves.

They want to take on complex ideas and reason out complex problems.

Maintain playful goofiness of young years mixed with adult philosophy.

The importance of I – The POV should be first person or close third person perspective – the protagoinist speaks to a personal friend or confidant and lays the soul bare.

Create and show inside jokes and language (create slang that only the teens in your story use – don’t copy any real slang because it is outdated quickly.)

When writing as a teen, speak in a distinct language – create private language for them. Language should be consistent and character derived.

Give them a chance to see things differently than the people around them.

Describe an event with teen commentary to show their perspective.

Use present tense or past tense without the long lens of reflection to keep story in now. It should be a recent perspective.

Validate a teen reader’s experience of time and place even when using a historical setting – address present day social concerns or illuminate generational similarities. Ex. “Catcher in the Rye”

Historical novels for young adults – they look at the past in new ways and how to relate to the present. Capture stories not told in history books.

Teens want to see themselves in the book. “Anne Frank” showed her teen experience.

Foreshorten the adult world, minimizing the interference of authority (many protagonist are orphaned in some way) so they are facing problems alone.

Adult character should speak differently from teens. In the televisions show, 90210, the parents were nerds. The kids were cool.

Use verbs that pop – listen to the sounds of language and focus on cadence.

Honor ethnicity and personal origins. Expand ideas about identity using background and roots so that story belongs to everyone.

Use cynicism and snarkiness but understand the ways in which language protects or hides deeper feelings.

Use the honesty of a teen narrator to cut through hypocrisy in their setting, not to diminish or reduce.

The acceptance as closure to a story – narrator understands that life isn’t perfect

The story works through the problem, accepts understanding of self and the world is not perfect.

The view the world as adult in a more complicated way.

 

 

 

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Writing a cozy mystery

Every writer should attend conferences or classes to improve their craft. I attended the 34th Annual Western Reserve Writer’s Conference Sept. 23 at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library. The event was free and had a variety of workshops and speakers.

Amanda Flower book2Amanda Flower explained the difference between a Cozy Mystery and regular mystery.

A cozy mystery usually has a funny title. Amanda’s new book is “Assaulted Caramel.”

  1. A cozy is a subgenre of a standard mystery
  2. Death takes place off stage
  3. Minimal to no sex or violence
  4. Few if any curse words. It’s a sweet book but people are killed in it. It’s similar to Agatha Christie but funnier and sweeter.

Hardboiled mysteries are darker, more graphic and more cynical – Patricia Cornwell is an example

Soft boiled mysteries are lighter and more humorous; they focus on puzzle solving

Elements of a Cozy Mystery or topes, standards for a genre, that a reader expects in that genre. You can break or embrace them.

  1. Protagonist

She is an amateur sleuth and her job is NOT in law enforcement (Stephanie Plum is bond enforcer but not very good at her job.)

A shop is often a setting – garden, candy, etc.

The protagonist has a flaw – what is her damage?

She is a good person who wants to do the right thing but gets into trouble and snoops or meddles.

She thinks she can help by using her skills. She gets involved because of a connection to the person killed.

She wants justice served or she is the main suspect or someone she loves is the suspect

MOTIVATION is everything – she has to have a reason for doing the dangerous task of solving the crime.

  1. The cozy voice

Light and funny, humorous. Shows the protagonist has a life outside of the story – relief from tension.

All mysteries have right or wrong, good or bad and in the end justice prevails.

  1. Supporting cast

Small town with quirky people. Everyone helps or hinders the protagonist – the details of the story. Some kind of animal is in story (some talk) and a sidekick most of the time who is quirky and has the good lines.

  1. Love interest

Single woman 9/10 times her boyfriend is in law enforcement. She needs someone to get info from or someone involved in the investigation. Meet cute (watch The Holiday movie) – first meeting or first time reunited after long absence. Love gone wrong or something wrong with the person for getting involved. Has the tone of Janet Evanovich where Stephanie is a disaster waiting to happen but somehow “gets her man.”

  1. Unlikeable victim

9/10 person killed everyone wanted him dead so you have a lot of suspects. 1 real, 3 suspicious ones and 3 throwaways that are cleared quickly. All have great reasons to kill – love or money. An option for the victim is some redeemable trait.

  1. Lots of Suspense

In all mysteries their livelihood is threatened or a sick family member needs money for an operation. Every chapter should end with a hook to make the reader turn the page. James Patterson has short chapters, but reader keeps reading to find out what happens next.

  1. Red herrings and clues

Clues lead to the killer.

Red herrings lead away from the killer, misdirect and confuse the reader but do not irritate. Don’t leave loose ends. Everything is done with intention and logical. The clues tie the story together and makes sense to the reader.

Trick the reader – they think they know who the killer is but in the end someone else but makes sense. Do not have killer to jump out late in the story. He must be introduced early.

  1. The killer can be likeable or hated.

Sympathetic character is upset and makes stupid decisions to murder someone.

Action has MOTIVATION. He doesn’t kill because of psycho behavior. Killer is a normal person that snaps under stress.

Motivation – son dying and needs money to pay bills. An elected official has gambling problem and used public funds. They make a stupid decision concerning love or money and kill someone to hide mistake.

Killer’s rationalization – he had to kill the unlikeable troublemaker.

How to kill: blunt force trauma; stabbing; strangling; poison

9/10 murder crime of passion but in cozy – plan the murder

  1. Protagonist in Peril

Reach the climax and wrap up in four pages. Once the mystery is solved, end the story. The final setting should be familiar to the reader from earlier in the story. The protagonist has put the clues together and figured out who the killer is but he arrives with gun and she has to get herself and others out of trouble. Protagonist saves herself and others NOT cop or someone else. She’s the heroine.

Mystery subgenres: Golden Age; Police Procedure; Forensic; Private Eye; Thriller

First person is more common – reader finds same clues as protagonist.

80,000 words is common length.

 

 

 

How to get published

Every writer should attend conferences or classes to improve their craft. I attended the 34th Annual Western Reserve Writer’s Conference Sept. 23 at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library. The event was free and had a variety of workshops and speakers.IMG_9676

Brian Klems of Writer’s Digest Magazine offered suggestions for getting published:

  1. Write a great story with an exciting incident to send the story into action where life as usual changes. The protagonist has clear goals, and the setting puts reader into the story. Use active voice, active verbs, and good grammar.
  1. Get to know editors and agents before pitching a story and make sure it fits the category they represent.
  2. Follow writing guidelines of editor or agent. Look at website for submission guidelines. Send at least five out at a time from your target list.
  3. Write a killer query letter
    1. Introduction with book, topic, and number of words
    2. Pitch or blurb
    3. Similar books and where it fits in their books (find through research)
    4. Qualifications and platform
  4. Have a platform – visibility and show how people can find you with blog, website, Titter, and Facebook
  5. Be kind, useful, and network. Never bad mouth agents or publishers.
  6. Embrace all feedback and don’t let criticism get to you. Move on.
  7. Be the easiest person in the world to work with.
  8. Have more than one idea; ready for alternatives –what else do you have?
  9. Stay positive – lot of rejections

 

 

 

Review of Impending Love and Capture

IMPENDING LOVE AND CAPTUREImpendingLoveandCapture_w11791_med - Copy

Released Sept. 15, 2017 and available at   http://goo.gl/0fBnFq and @wildrosepress

A review by Dorothy Markulis

History and romance fans will find a great deal to love in author Laura Freeman’s latest book, “Impending love and capture.”

This is Freeman’s fourth book in this series about the Civil War and the Union supporting family, the Beechers of Ohio. Freeman manages to weave historical facts with fictional romance seamlessly, making the reader anxious to discover more and more.

“Impending love and capture” follows beautiful Jessica Beecher, a resourceful 17-year-old, through the horrors of the Civil War. The reader is with the fearless girl as she travels through the devastation caused by the war between the states.

The skillful author’s knowledge of the Civil War is astonishing and her telling of the horrors of war brings the reader right into the thick of the carnage.

The book details the horrific results of Americans fighting Americans.

Jessica, just 17, is plunged into the thick of the aftermath of the fighting, treating injured and maimed soldiers. The author makes the reader take the plunge with Jessica – experiencing the sights, smells and sounds of the war.

Jessica’s life becomes incredibly complicated when she is captured by a Confederate officer. Her hatred of war, and all that it entails, is brought front and center when she finds herself falling in love with her captor.

That love, throws her life into turmoil and threatens her very existence. Her views on life, love and the hateful war are forever changed as she fights to save the man she finds she cannot live without.

 

 

 

Impending Love and Capture excerpt

Her petal-shaped lips were likely coated with poison. He put the gun and knife in his haversack. “Even fully armed, you’re no

ImpendingLoveandCapture_w11791_med - Copy

match against the entire Confederate army, Mrs. Mackinnon.”

Jess looked around at the deserted town of Gettysburg. “Who’s Mackinnon?”

He pointed to his chest. “I’m Major Morgan Mackinnon. Your husband.”

She put her hands on her hips. “I’m not marrying you.”

“It’s in name only.” He didn’t want to calm her fears too much. “Would you prefer I tell everyone you’re a Beecher abolitionist? All the men in camp lost brothers and friends the past three days. They don’t need much of an excuse to take it out on someone. I’d hate for them to use your hide to vent their anger.”

A gasp escaped her trembling lips. His words had frightened her. “I’ll borrow it.”

Morgan swung her onto the wagon seat and joined her. He moved his haversack as far from her reach as possible.

She sat with her back straight, her hands in her lap. “Is Mackinnon Irish?”

Morgan slapped the reins on the back of the black draft horses and imitated his father’s Scottish brogue. “Dornt insult me, lass. Mah faither was a fierce highlander.”

She tilted her head with a teasing smile on her face. “Hah, if you’re a Scotsman, where’s your kilt?”

It’s nae th’ kilt that’s important.” He clucked at the horses and winked in her direction. “It’s what’s underneath.”

She slid to the far edge of the bench seat. “You said this marriage was in name only. No kilt lifting.”

 

Writing real crime stories

By LAURA FREEMAN / Reporter

Posted Aug 16, 2017 at 10:45 AM

HUDSON — What if you wrote about a gangster’s moll in a non-fiction historical novel and a descendant of the woman called you?

What if the caller lived in the house behind you?

Award winning non-fiction author Jane Ann Turzillo, of Akron, had just such an experience. She will be the first speaker in the “Writing to Publish” series returning this year to the Hudson Library and Historical Society, discussing research for writers Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.

In Turzillo’s “Wicked Women of Northeast Ohio,” a woman named Akron Mary is a gangster’s girlfriend who likes having a good time.

“The book was out two weeks, and the phone rang, and the man was her grandson,” Turzillo said. “He was pleased with the way I wrote about her and told me much more about her that I didn’t know.”

It turned out the connection was closer than Turzillo thought, as she discovered the man lived in the house right behind her.

“I’m always careful what I write,” Turzillo said. “In my current book, I’ve talked to their descendants so they know what’s coming.”

As one of the original owners of an Ohio weekly newspaper, Turzillo covered police and fire news and wrote a historical column. Later, she taught writing and literature at the college level.

Her book, “Unsolved Murders and Disappearances in Northeast Ohio,” was nominated for an Agatha Award and won the Ohio Professional Writers award for adult nonfiction/history. It was given an Honorable Mention from the National Federation of Press Women. “Ohio Train Disasters” also won the Ohio Professional Writers award and won top honors from the National Federation of Press Women.

Research about murders and disasters is essentially historical detective work, Turzillo said.

“I like following the facts, following the trail,” Turzillo said. “When it comes to the disasters, I like to present the human side of the story and not just the crash, burn and explosion.”

Turzillo said she will discuss the best places for research such as libraries, historical societies, county archives and other places writers may not consider.

Research is more important than ever with fake news, Turzillo said.

“If you’re writing anything that is nonfiction, you have to be sure of your facts and know what you’re writing about,” she said. “You may have to defend what you’re writing about.”

Talks like Turzillo’s are part of a series begun by local best-selling mystery author Amanda Flower, who is also the adult service librarian at the Hudson library. The series offers insights into the competitive occupation of a published writer.

Other topics in the 2017 series include “Editing Your Work” with editor Jennifer Sawyer Fisher Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.; “Social Media Platforms for Writers” with literary agent Jennifer Wills Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.; and “Writing for Children” with author Tricia Springstubb Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. Registration is required. For more information visit hudsonlibrary.org or call 330-653-6658 ext. 1010.

A writer writes, Turzillo said, especially if they want to be published. Don’t allow distractions, she said.

“You can’t dream about it,” Turzillo said. “If you only write a sentence a day, just do it. You have to be tenacious. The more you do it, the better you get at it.”

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

The Civil War returns to Hale Farm

BATH — It was the philosopher George Santayana who said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”IMG_9169

Thankfully, the greatest danger for visitors to the Hale Farm and Village Civil War Reenactment was a history lesson through participation.

More than 750 actors gathered on the historic grounds of Hale Farm and Village Aug. 12 and 13 to fight the Battle of Port Republic, which took place June 9, 1862, in Rockingham County, Va. Many of the “regiments” recruited for soldiers from the 6,500 attendees.

“Civil War buff or not, the reenactment is an amazing opportunity to experience our nation’s history,” said Catherine Sterle of Hale Farm. “When guests walk through the camps and see the representation of how the soldiers lived and fought, in canvas tents, cooking over open flames, loading riffles, completing drills and disciplines — there is a newfound understanding and appreciation for the people who fought.”

Visitors were encouraged to interact with the soldiers and civilian reenactors, she said.

Josh Wales of Urbana was a captain of Co. I in the 66th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Wales said he has a love of history. Twenty years ago, he attended a demonstration and was hooked.

The 66th fought with 29th, 5th and 7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry regiments during the battle of Port Republic, Wales said.

“They were on the extreme left [flank],” Wales said. “Their job was to guard the battery of artillery before they were driven off the field with the rest of the army.”

Wales said Civil War soldiers had to have the courage to march away from home in 1861 and 1862 and the flexibility to adapt and stay in the field for a lengths of time.

Danny Boyett of Akron was in the 29th OVI and was accompanied by his daughter, Jolena Boyett. They have been reenactors for four years and became involved through a couple of people at their church.

Danny Boyett had a couple of revolvers, an 1858 Remington and an 1851 Navy Colt, which he demonstrated how to load.

The cylinders were packed with gun powder and then a lead ball was pushed in. A plunger packed the lead down and grease sealed it, Boyett said. The grease lubricated the load and prevented the flames from the shot igniting the other charges in the cylinder. A percussion cap was placed on each charge.

“It takes 15 minutes to load a cylinder,” Danny Boyett said.

Jolena Boyett shared information on the cooking utensils, which included a grate to be used over a fire, a cast iron skillet for eggs and bacon and a dutch oven for soup or stew. The chairs, lanterns and coffee pot are appropriate for the time period, she said.

“We try to keep things authentic,” Jolena Boyett said.

Charlotte and James Shanks have been reenactors for 20 years and live in Bowling Green. Their children Robert, 10; Rebecca, 12; and Katherine, 14, have been participating since they were babies.

“We both love history,” Charlotte Shanks said. “Two uncles ‘fought’ in the 21st OVI and were killed at Chickamauga. When James found the 21st, it was a natural fit.”

The children have a box of games for other children to join in, including Jacob’s ladder, the original fidget spinner, and a ball in a cup. The girls use sticks to toss a hoop and learn graceful movements. Many of the games taught lessons to practice what they had learned in school.

The Shanks family as reenactors had their own Civil War story.

“My husband ran the sawmill,” Charlotte said. “I had to run a business. The two older sons worked at the mill until they went to war. The youngest had to do the chores.”

Soldiers believed the war would be over in a few weeks, and they expected their wives and children to manage the business and home, she said.

“If the men thought everything was running smoothly, they would continue to fight, knowing there was something to return to,” Charlotte said. “Everyone had to step up to the next level, including the children.”

Dressmaker Jan Lauer of Erie talked to visitors about sewing and the invention of the Butterick patterns for men in 1863 and women in 1866. New fashions came out in the spring and fall and a dressmaker couldn’t make any money the two months before each season. Lauer did millinery, or creating hats, during those four months.

“I like to teach something they won’t learn in textbooks,” Lauer said. “There’s more to the Civil War than battles.”

Capt. Jeff Wormley of Struthers has been a reenactor for 20 years and was in the 27th V.A. Co. G Shriver Greys from Wheeling, Va.

His group always portrays the Confederacy.

“We don’t like the guys in blue,” Wormley said. “Some of our ancestors fought for the South, but most people have ancestors from both sides.”

The 1st Ohio Light Battery A is part of the state militia, the educational militia, which fires the cannons seen around the statehouse.

A cannon is loaded with a round every 20 seconds, said Gunner Garth Wilson of Zanesville. The gunner gives the commands for the gun and aims the piece.

Because the cannon is a smooth bore, it can hit the broadside of a barn at 800 yards. If it was rifled, it could hit the window in a barn, Wilson said.

Six horses pull the cannon, limber or ammunition box, and caisson, or utility box, which holds extra ammunition, spare wheels and grease, he said.

“The goal of artillery was to drop people in mass numbers, such as in the cornfield at Antietam,” Wilson said.

Dennis Stinematz of western Columbus had the role of powder monkey for the artillery group. Artillery had red trim and crossed cannons on their hats. Cavalry had yellow trim and infantry had light blue trim.

Stinematz said his great-great-grandfather James Robert Looker was in the 10th Ohio Cavalry, Co. A. He was captured and sent to Andersonville prison-of-war camp but was traded. He had been a farmer and harness maker before the war and had joined when he was 45 years old.

He was a “worthless man” after the war and had to fight to receive his $8 per month pension after proving he could no longer do the work he had done before the war.

James’ son, Hector Looker, was 19 when he joined and was killed in Georgia near the Nash Farm in 1863, Stinematz said. He is buried in Georgia.

“There are so many stories nobody knows about,” Stinematz said.

Those visiting the annual August event have an opportunity to become a part of them.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

Ulysses S. Grant visits Ohio

Ulysses S. Grant visits grave of his grandmother

By LAURA FREEMAN Reporter Published: July 18, 2017 4:00 AM

DEERFIELD — “Heritage is History squared,” according to Ulysses S. Grant’s portrayer.

Dr. E.C. Fields, Jr., played Civil War Commander Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (and later 18th president of the United States) July 17 at Deerfield Township Cemetery, where Grant’s grandmother, Rachel Kelly Grant, is buried.

Rachel Grant was born in June 1746 and died April 5, 1805. She came to Deerfield in 1804 with her husband, Noah and seven children. Her husband set up a tannery west of Deerfield Circle and lived in a home built by Owen Brown of Hudson.

On the marker, Rachel was “known for her spinning.”

Fields, as Grant, discussed his humble roots.

[“I come from humble stock,” he said. “Rachel was a woman of the Ohio frontier. She worked hard and did her best.”

“Grant” then placed flowers on her grave — and encouraged children not to simply read about history, but to take opportunities to live it.

“Bringing the little ones speaks well of you,” Grant [Fields] said. “For the little ones are the future of our past. Take them everywhere you can where there is history.”

Fields said history is one dimensional on a page.

“Learn it, read it and know it, but heritage is history squared,” Grant [Fields] said. “Heritage is right here where you can come and stand with my grandmother. You can visit the cemetery and honor an ancestor whose blood flows through my veins.”“

Heritage, he added, is visiting Vicksburg, Gettysburg and Shiloh and 10,000 reported battle sites in the 48 months of the Civil War.

“Ohio acquitted itself well during the Civil War,” Grant [Fields] said. “Be proud of the people you came from.”

The event was sponsored by the James A. Garfield Civil War Round Table, which hosted Grant at the Big Red Barn in Valley View for “An Evening with General Grant.”

Sally Sampson, secretary of the Deerfield Township Historical Society, said Commander Benjamin Frayser of the Garfield Civil War Round Table contacted them about the ceremony, and they were happy to make arrangements.

After visiting the cemetery, “Grant” visited the Township Square and the Civil War memorial. He suggested the historical society research the 20 names on the monument and find out more about them, especially the three men with the same last name who died in different battles.

The historical society surprised Grant [Fields] with a visit to a red brick home south of the Township Square where the Grants lived in the building which was reported to have been built by Owen Brown of Hudson. Heather and John Larkin have lived in the home for 19 years and discovered five fireplaces, black walnut floors and a brick walkway beneath the grass.

Fields is a living historian and has appeared as Grant at remembrance ceremonies and reenactments across the country, including the James A Garfield National Historic Site (Mentor, Ohio), Gettysburg, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Appomattox Court House and for the Discovery Channel.

Fields is a member of numerous historical societies and foundations, and contributes to several Civil War publications. His website is GeneralGrantbyHimself.com

The James A Garfield Civil War Round Table was founded in 2015 with a commitment to share and expand members’ passion, knowledge, and understanding of the American Civil War. The Round Table serves communities of Southeastern Cuyahoga County as co-host of the annual Garfield Symposium, with participation in local history fairs, donations of winter-weather protective clothing to local homeless shelters and preparing United States flags for proper retirement.

The round table is named in honor of President James A. Garfield, a native of Cuyahoga County and a Civil War veteran, attaining the rank of major general. Information on the activities or membership participation can be requested fromJamesAGarfieldCWRT@gmail.com

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

This story appeared in the Record Courier July 18, 2017

Author Mary Kubica on writing

My article appeared in the Hudson Hub-Times July 3, 2017

Hudson – A best selling author kept her writing secret from everyone but her husband, who wasn’t allowed to read it until her first book was published.

Author Mary Kubica June 28, shared her writing experience with more than 50 readers of her “chilling psychological thriller” at the Hudson Library and Historical Society.

“Every Last Lie” is a widow’s search for the truth after her husband’s tragic death in a car accident that may not have been accidental.

She writes in first person because “I felt like I was outside with a third person perspective.”

“Every Last Lie” is written from two points of view, Clara and her husband, Nick, before he dies.

Kubica said she writes each point of view separately and then merges them like a deck of cards being shuffled.

A New York Times and USA Today best selling author, Kubica has written “The Good Girl,” Pretty Baby” and “Don’t you Cry.”

“The Good Girl” was an Indie Next, received a Strand Critic Nomination for Best First Novel and was a nominee in the Goodreads Choice Awards in “Debut Goodreads Author” and “Mystery & Thriller.”

Kubica began writing as a young girl and lived vicariously through her characters. She didn’t dream of sharing her stories.

“I was shy about writing and kept it private,” Kubica said. “I was passionate about writing but didn’t want to be an author.”

Instead she became a history teacher, but after the birth of her children, she resumed writing.

“I was quickly consumed by it,” Kubica said. “I felt guilty not doing other things [chores].”

She learned by trial and error and found her voice with mysteries.

It took Kubica five years to write “The Good Girl.” She sent it to nearly 100 agents and was rejected by every one. When the rejections arrived in the mail, she rushed out to retrieve them before her husband saw them.

“It was so demoralizing,” Kubica said.

Two years later, an agent contacted her about the book for publication.

“It was a dream come true,” she said.

She was contracted to write a second book,” Pretty Baby” but her first proposal was rejected.

“I had only one idea,” Kubica said. “I was under deadline and losing time. I needed a new idea.”

She had an image of a teen holding a baby and wrote the first chapter, Kubica said.

“It was not inspiration,” she said. “It was desperation.”

Kubica answered questions from the audience and signed books afterwards, giving fans a chance to meet their favorite author.

Hudson Library and Historical Society offers programs every month on a variety of subjects, including wellness, walking tours, music, book clubs, cooking, genealogy and culture. For more information, visit hudsonlibrary.org

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

Ready for publication

I have finished the edits on my fourth novel, “Impending Love and Capture.”

Here is a sneak preview at the blurb:

When Jessica Beecher stops to help a wounded soldier on the Gettysburg battlefield, Confederate Major Morgan Mackinnon enlists her skills to nurse his sister.  Unable to escape, she waits for Union forces to attack the retreating Confederate Army.  But the delay forces Jess to look beyond the gray uniform to the man who has captured her heart.

Morgan can’t let Jess leave when she overhears Lee’s army is retreating during the night.  She’s a dangerous woman and not because of the knife she pressed against his throat or the revolver hidden beneath her skirt.  The battlefield angel has a face no man can forget, especially when facing death. 

You are hearing a big sigh of relief, but it’s a bit like your child graduating from school. You’re proud of the achievement, but a little sad your role is over and your creation is going out into the world for better or worse.

I have a creative side and an analytical side. I blame it having a right-handed father and a left-handed mother. I like to track the progress of my manuscript.

As I look back, I started “Impending Love and Capture” in March of 2016 with naming the problem and completed 100 pages by May. By December I had finished the 300+ word manuscript and sent it to my beta reader for any suggestions or glaring errors to correct.

In February 2017, I sent my manuscript to my editor at The Wild Rose Press with a synopsis and cover letter. In April, I received my contract and the work began.

I filled out the information for the front and back of the book as well as my ideas for a cover and began the edits.

In May, I submitted my blurb (read above), updated biography, and the excerpt for inside the cover.

Through May, I sent two rounds of edits on a word document, and then the copy editor made a few changes before I went through three rounds of edits on the galley version.  I made 163 galley edits.

When I edit, I read my manuscript from beginning to end, looking for any missed punctuation, inconsistencies, or word choices. I hate repeating a word in the same paragraph so that’s my main culprit when I’m making final changes.

I also believe in logic. I hate stories that don’t make sense or have a glaring flaw in the actions or thoughts of the character. Sometimes this takes reading through a passage several times to notice. I also use the search or find feature in word to make sure names, ranks, and other repeated items are consistent.

I had a colonel listed as a general in one spot. A leftover from the initial version. I also changed a character’s name and searched to make sure it had been changed in all the locations. Because it is a Civil War story and has several letters, I had to change a closing phrase that was too much like another.

I know there are still some minor errors. Even the best writers have them, but I don’t sign off until I’m confident the story is the best I could create and has the fewest flaws.

I hope you enjoy my writing.