Working with a small press

I’m on day two of a five day intensive writing program-at home. I’ve promised a publisher the entire revised manuscript by July 31st. Up to page 317. Energized and terribly excited, I’m feeling great.

A wonderful and talented classmate of mine linked me with her publisher, a small press that specializes in social justice. I’m impressed with their work ethic and philosophy of supporting their authors. As part of the exploration process, I’ve shared the first two hundred pages with them. The following is their reply:

I read part one. I will confess to looking forward for the finished MS. I found myself visualizing many scenes in the story and incorporating Mason’s artwork. To be honest, you do a very good job placing this reader into the landscape and helping me to ‘picture’ the characters. Sir, your efforts and sacrifice for an MFA was a wise investment. Your work stands on merit. Yet, I am of a mind that Mason will add the extra dimension, if his art is used critically, to bring the reader on this journey.

This is the first time I’ve had such positive feedback. It’s encouraging. The current draft is taking my manuscript to the next level. Each completed scene is stronger, more streamlined and less awkward-all areas that I’ve been working to improve. And apparently, I’ve made some headway.

The press stated an interest in both projects, the literary novel and the graphic novel. And the ability to utilize some of Mason’s artwork in the novel (e.g. an illustration for each chapter as well as the cover art) is something that might not be possible in a larger company. It’s all preliminary.

I’ve been lucky enough to work with several individuals over the past three years since grad school. The West L.A. writing group, a gathering of some very talented writers, took me in and provided valuable feedback on my first complete draft. Then I’ve had the privilege of working with three lovely, brilliant women who gave me line and global edits on the entire work.

This novel has been pulled out of me by some very talented individuals. While it is my story, the support and guidance I’ve received is a collaborative effort. I could not be at this point without it, and for that I am truly grateful. Now back to these edits…

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