I hope you are enjoying this holiday season, and are getting the chance to spend it with friends and family! With one more day until 2018, this seemed a good opportunity to check in with a brief update on Lost in the Fog, my book you graciously pre-ordered/followed.
And I finally have some good news to share!
For the last month I have been working with an editor, the extremely talented and sagacious Caroline Tolley. Her resume is beyond impressive (please click on the link and check out all the great books she has edited), and I am very lucky to have her in my corner. A few weeks ago she returned her first round edit of Lost in the Fog, which was filled with terrific advice to make it a better book.
Caroline’s development notes were overwhelmingly positive on the story, characters, pacing, and plot. She said overall the book was in great shape. Her feedback for improvement was mostly in the narration: specifically, the 3rd person narrator (while often humorous) impeded the reader from bonding with Camden and Veronica. This also caused a ripple effect where these two main characters did not share enough internal thoughts. I also have some tone ambiguity I need to work on.
I agree with my editor’s evaluation, and these necessary changes will be relatively minor in scope.
I just need to find the time to do them.
This month nearly every night has been a holiday party for work and friends, and I’ve also had visitors and long days spent in the office for my job that pays the bills. No complaints at all, as I’ve been having a lot of fun and finding satisfaction in my work. But I’ve been eager to dig into my rewrite based on Caroline’s notes, and I finally was able to make some progress this past week.
I plan to keep this momentum going, and mid-January should be a realistic timeline for me to finish my rewrite and submit it back to her.
The next step in the process is for Caroline to do one more edit. I’ll then take that, make the required adjustments, and Inkshares will do a final “line edit”. This is exactly what the name implies- someone will go line-by-line to ensure everything is proper, perfect, and ready for publication.
I’ll keep everyone updated as I hit key milestones, and I hope to get Lost in the Fog to all of you by late summer/early fall of 2018. But the date is unfortunately out of my control. Whether you’re an established best-selling author or someone like me, unlike the instantaneous click/like/tweet of our culture, the publishing process is plodding and requires patience. But I’m so glad to have you all with me on this.
As the clock ticks down on 2017, I will humbly once again say thank you and mahalo for your support! Simply put, Lost in the Fog would not be getting published without your help. I wish you all a Happy New Year, and success and happiness in 2018!!
I’m long overdue for some news about Lost in the Fog, so here we go!
First, I must express my continued gratitude. Because of all of you, my novel surpassed the 250-pre-order requirement (272 thus far) and will be published by Inkshares! Your support brings a ginormous smile to my face, and I am beyond grateful. For years I’ve wanted to share Lost in the Fog with the world, and I will be able to do it because of you. Merci beaucoup, danke schoen, arigato, mahalo nui loa, and thank you!
Second, I want to provide an update to the question you all have: when will I receive my copy of Lost in the Fog? While I wish I could give it to you right now, unfortunately the world of book publishing moves at a slower pace. Here’s a recent example. Robin Sloane, author of the outstanding best seller Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore (which I highly recommend), announced to his fans on July 15, 2016 he had finished a new novel. On September 5th of this year, Sloane’s Sourdough will be released to the world.
For those of you who don’t want to do the math, that’s almost 14 months from completion to publication for an author who just had a best seller.
While I’ve yet to have a best seller, the goal is to get Lost in the Fog to you a whole lot sooner. Here is where I am with the process. While I’ve gone through so many drafts of my novel that I’ve lost count, I am still working on one more. When that is finished I send it off to the publisher, and then they assign an editor to work on it with me.
The editing process can take several months, and then there’s the cover, the clean-up of the final version, printing, marketing, and distribution. This meticulous process will be done to produce the best possible version of my book. Because you should never over-promise and under-deliver, my goal for Lost in the Fog is that it will be published next summer.
Inkshares is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I plan on flying back there to sign every book before they ship. So while a little patience is in order, I’m happy to report that everyone who pre-ordered a paperback will receive a personalized signed copy!
Third part to this update: as we walk down the long and winding road to publication, I will keep you informed along the way and hopefully have some fun with it. I plan to share with you, the ones who have made Lost in the Fog possible, special items akin to DVD/Blu-ray extras. Here’s a sneak preview.
In the beginning of Lost in the Fog (which you can check out right now on the "Read" tab), the main character Camden takes the Caltrain (the commuter rail) from San Carlos into the city of San Francisco. Here is what he sees and thinks that morning:
Tired and hungover, he could only stare slack jawed at the lavender and pink clouds which appeared to be crashing like waves over to the East Bay sky. Camden couldn’t get it out of his mind that he was a yo-yo. Slung up the Peninsula to San Francisco in the morning, he was suspended there in a “walk the dog” move for the day. As the sun set the giant wrist flicked and he returned to his home thirty-five miles south of the city.
At the Caltrain Depot in San Francisco, Camden exited with the mass of commuters and began his usual walk up Fourth Avenue…….
Below are some pictures of what Camden would have seen as he approached the San Francisco station on that morning, and also the view of when he exited the train to walk to his job as a gallery attendant. Back when I was writing the first draft, commuting into the city was my life. Those thirty-five to fifty-five minutes (it all depended on whether it was an express or a local), I used to spend working on Lost in the Fog. That time on the train fueled my creativity and was very important to me.
Thank you all again, and looking forward to sharing more updates soon!
As a thank you for helping me reach 250 pre-orders, I wanted to share with you a short story of mine called "Moving Art".
It has absolutely nothing to do with Lost in the Fog and was written years before my novel, but in my head I picture Patrick, the main character in the story, being Camden Swanson’s brother. And maybe I"ll have the two of them meet up in the Lost in the Fog sequel that I just started writing (which will be set in Hawaii).
This short story is about Patrick and Jill, two college seniors on their Spring Break in Mexico. There’s a bullfight, talk of Hemingway, the chasing of expectations at the expense of reality, and a young couple trying to figure out if they’ll continue their relationship after graduation.
If you have some time to read it, I hope you will enjoy! Thank you again!!!
I’m very excited to announce my novel Lost in the Fog has received over 250 pre-orders (261 and counting) and will now be published by Inkshares! Thank you so much for your support, and I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am!
I’m also thrilled to report this is (hopefully) just the first step for Lost in the Fog. Inkshares is sponsoring their Launch Pad Contest, and I’m officially entered. It started April 1st and goes until November 4th, and the top three books on the basis of unique pre-orders will be automatic winners. For more on the contest, you can click here.
All Launch Pad winners will receive full marketing/promotion/editing, and their novels will be sold in brick-and-mortar bookstores! With the 250 pre-orders, I’m only guaranteed Lost in the Fog will be published and available to purchase online, but without any promotion and only basic copy editing. That is cool in itself and a huge accomplishment, and I’m super happy to have reached that goal.
But being a Launch Pad Contest winner would be a dream come true! Not only will Lost in the Fog get full publishing and promotion, there’s also top talent agencies (including UTA & Paradigm) and production companies (such as Village Road Show & 3 Arts Entertainment) involved in the contest. I’m currently in second place on the leaderboard out of 116 submissions. That’s very exciting, but there’s still a long way to go.
The goal now is for new readers to keep pre-ordering so I can cement Top 3!
You are all the absolute best, and thanks again from the bottom, top, and (gooey) center of my heart for your support! If you think any of your family or friends or work colleagues would enjoy Lost in the Fog, I would be very grateful if you shared the link with them via email or text:
With the first goal of 250 pre-orders complete, Top 3 in the Launch Pad Contest is in now in our sights! Mahalo, mahalo, mahalo!!
Here’s a picture of me on Maui (on my birthday this past weekend) celebrating 250 pre-orders. 😊
I’m happy to share that I have reached the century mark for pre-orders! While this doesn’t exactly make me Steven King or J.K. Rowling, I’m on pace for the first goal of 250 that will get Lost in the Fog published. I truly thank you all for your support! The ultimate mark is 750 pre-orders to receive the full Inkshares marketing and promotional treatment, but right now the focus is to get to 250.
I have two more months.
Like most writers, I consider selling and marketing to be on par with stepping on a jellyfish. When I published A Model Community, my first novel, I mostly just put my head in the sand and hoped it would sell. Such laissez-faire effort, to nobody’s surprise, produced poor sales.
I’m determined to be more active this go around, and I’m off to a good start. While 60 days (the deadline to reach at least 250 pre-orders) will arrive quickly, I continue to ramp up my efforts with emails, social media, and advertising. Getting Lost in the Fog out there to the world is my mission!
Another critical component of this is word-of-mouth, and you all continue to play such an important part in my book’s success. So many of you have shared Lost in the Fog on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and I am so grateful! While you have already done so much, I humbly ask one more favor. If each of you were able to email or text just one of your close friends the link to pre-order Lost in the Fog, I would appreciate it more than you could ever know.
Thanks again and I look forward to sharing more exciting updates with everyone!
I plan on adding the second chapter of Lost in the Fog for all to read this week, and if you would like to check out one of my short stories, you can find it at my new website. It’s called “Streetlights”, and it’s about one guy’s comical and bittersweet attempt at reconnecting with his junior-high crush.
“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to makes speeches. Just believing is usually enough.”
-Stephen King, from On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft
A huge thank you for being the first to pre-order my new novel Lost in the Fog. It’s been up on Inkshares for a little over a week, and thus far I have 76 orders. Not exactly Stephen King-type numbers, but still a very good early showing!
Thank you, thank you, and thank you again!
Speaking of Stephen King, I love that quote I referenced above from his On Writing. I read that book back in 2001 when I was living in LA, and as I sat down to write this update the paperback was right there on the shelf just a few feet away from my laptop. A nice omen and the quote is so true. Through the years I have received amazing support from my family, my friends and many strangers who read something I wrote. It’s hard to properly describe how much that means.
Because there is always going to be criticism when you put your work out into the public realm. And you not only have to cope with it, you must embrace it to get better. I certainly do and am grateful for negative feedback. However, positive encouragement will always be a huge motivator that gets you through the moments of doubt.
Once again, I thank you for ordering my new book and for sharing the link with your friends and family! I am very grateful. My initial goal is to get at least 250 pre-orders in the next three months. Inkshares will only publish your book if you reach that minimum threshold (if I don’t you’ll all get a full refund), and if you can get to 750 they’ll give you the full advertising and marketing treatment. With the support of friends, family, and strangers I know Lost in the Fog can get there!
I’ve put the first chapter up on the site, and I’ll be adding the second chapter as a further sneak preview for you soon. If you want to read a little about the history of Lost in the Fog, you can check out my blog post at https://underdiamondhead.com/2017/04/24/lost-in-the-fog-my-new-novel/