Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash. It's a picture of a frame with the quote, "Write Without Fear. Edit Without Mercy." A blurry Aloe plant is in the left foreground.

The Bearsden Witch Series

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(Blog originally posted 2/08/2022 on reedshorepress.com) Book One in the Bearsden Witch series is coming along. The last self-edit was finished, and it’s in the first stage of editing. This entire process as a first-time author has been an incredible journey.

I began writing the ramblings of a women’s fiction novel about eight years ago. The most enthusiastic supporter was my daughter. I can’t thank her enough for all of the encouragement and criticism, yes criticism . . . sometimes SEVERE (she has no filter). Without honest criticism, I would never have improved as a writer.

My daughter’s first critique praised my writing but sunk my story. I spent quite a bit of time mulling that over and didn’t get back into it for a few years. I was an instrumental music teacher and a professional musician. It left little time for a personal life let alone starting a writing career on the side.

In January 2020, I finally pulled out that old Midlife story with an English professor love interest and started to craft it into The Bearsden Witch Series. Yes, the English professor lost his spot in my book when the series transitioned into a paranormal book series. I wrote in the evenings late into the night. By March, I had 25,000 words completed. We all know what followed. The Covid-19 pandemic shut the country down.

Like most teachers, I had to revamp my entire teaching from in-person learning to non-synchronous learning. My husband had to do the same. Lucky for me, he has a technology background and was able to help make the transition quickly. By May, I could see what the future of teaching would be for the next couple of years. I retired at the end of June 2020. It was one of the most difficult decisions I ever made. I had to say goodbye to students who had worked so hard to become shining performers.

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash
Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

Retiring allowed me to concentrate full-time on my debut novel, but I didn’t get back into it until late August. The five month hiatus turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I read my 25,000 words with a fresh take and stopped writing as a pantser. For you non-writers, a pantser is an author who writes as they go with no outline. I thought it would work for me, but I was SO wrong. My daughter convinced me that I needed an outline. Considering how well-organized I was at a teacher, I don’t know how I thought the pantser style would fly. Once I wrote the outline, I was on my way to finishing Book One in the series.

I completed a couple of self-edits before sending out my manuscript to my editors. How do I describe the angst that followed? It’s definitely an interesting feeling to know a skilled editor is hacking away at your baby while you wait for completion of the first pass of edits.

Meanwhile, a short story giving a glimpse of a back story to the The Bearsden Witch Series is completed and with an editor as well.

The book cover for Book One has been in the works for several months, and tweaking is being completed. Check back for a cover reveal in the next few weeks!