Friday, February 2, 2018

January Progress Report

So I had one goal for January: Finish the book.
I am sad to report that I did not meet that goal. The book is currently 293 pages, around 75,000 words, but I still have seven scenes to go.
In case you’re wondering what happened, it’s the same thing that always happens to me. I think up all these cool bits and pieces as I go along, but when I get to the end, I can’t get them to fit together.
Hell’s encompassing goal in this book is to eliminate the influence of Rachel Blackmon, my protagonist’s mother and famous inspirational sculptor, from the face of the earth. Rachel left behind a body of work that included crosses and crucifixes in churches all over the world, along with four small statues representing Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, which she created for her four children. She also left some leather-bound journals, where she detailed her thoughts and emotions on her work and her life. And I want all of that stuff to mean something.
I think I’ve got it pulled together now where it works. It will be up to my beta readers and my editor to tell me I’m wrong once I get those last seven scenes written.
Things I did manage to accomplish this month:
  1. Engaged a cover designer. I’ll be working with Trevor Griffiths of Spark Creative Partners.Trevor designed my website, which I love. I plan to use the same branding (font, graphics, tone) for my book covers, so Spark is the logical choice.
  2. Hired a blurb writer, Kat Sheridan. What she sent back was really good. Hoping to be ready to share by next week.
  3. Hired a copy editor, Arran McNichol. Arran was recommended by Sarah Andre (see my interview with Sarah here). The sample pages I submitted came back looking solid, so I engaged him.
Completed book or no completed book, it’s been a whirlwind.
Goals for February:
  1. Finish Book 2, The Demon’s in the Details, and send it out to my beta readers. Like, soon. It’s due to my editor on March 12, and I’d like to clean it up with some outside input before I dump it on Karen Harris.
  2. Get a proof copy of the cover. I have no idea how long this usually takes, but I’ve already settled on a font and cover graphic. It’s just a matter of fitting all the bits and pieces (Golden Heart badge (definitely), series title (maybe?)) onto the cover. Also excited to see what Trevor does with my spiffy new blurb.
  3. Send Book 1, The Demon Always Wins, off to Arran. She’s fast, so I may even have it back by the end of the month.
  4. Brainstorm the acts, turning points and scenes for Book 3, The Demon Wore Stilettos.
A lot of work for a very short month, but with the wind at my back, I just could manage it!


  1. I am sure making plans at the beginning of each month and evaluating progress at the end of the month is a good habit. Keeps you on track. I'm looking forward to reading your second book.

  2. If Pauline liked the first one I am certain it was great! I wish you much luck and good health to make your goal for this month!

  3. Looking good, Jeanne! Glad Arran is working out for you (it's a guy, BTW. He mentions his wife on his website.)

    Also, generally your cover designer should give you some dates to expect a proof back, you may want to reach out and ask. All of us need info like that to keep the process as seamless as possible.

    Good luck wrapping up the story this month, and all the best!


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