Writing process

BOOK 2 EXCERPT - RAW & UNPOLISHED

The chase seemed endless. Gabrielle stopped to catch her breath. She looked around her, and all she could see was a landscape filled with thick trees and muddy pathways to unknown places. Nothing reassuring to provide her with a safe hiding place. 

The small shed was too far away to even think of retrieving back there now. She wouldn’t have enough time. 

So, she continued to run. The air racing through her lungs burnt like wild flames eager to consume the last molecules of oxygen. Exhausted and out of breath, she collapsed on the ground.

The earth beneath her was cold and damp as if it had been raining for days. The wind was sharp and non-forgiving. It was not bringing more rain, but snow. A whole lot of it. 

The sun, unable to pierce through the thickness of the forest had already abandoned its warming task.

Gabrielle knew she had to keep moving. 

In an attempt to pull herself up, she reached for a branch above her head. As she stood, the branch cracked and echoed a sound that resonated miles away into the depths of the forest. The fall was even harder this time. 

“How can I get out of this?” she asked. Her adrenaline rush was slowly carving out. 

Her legs were bruised, and they hurt. Like the muscle pain of growing up, but ten times worst. Unable to support her own body, she remained glued to the musk. Behind her, she could hear manly voices coming closer. Dangerously close.

“She’s here somewhere,” one said.

“She can’t escape us,” the other replied. 

For the first time in her life, Gabrielle felt as if she was lying right next to her own death. She was terrified.

“This must be a dream. And I’m going to wake up soon,” she whispered afraid the man would hear that in such despair she couldn’t hold the words within her any longer.

Usually, when bad dreams happen, Gabrielle knows she can somehow control them. With a simple intention of waking up, she can escape the terror of those too frequent nightmares and wake up in her bed, safe and sound.

But this time, the tactic didn’t work. 

“I don’t want to die,” she said as her heart tightened. “Not yet. Not until I have truly loved.” 

She looked down at what was in her hand. Three lava stones, the size of ping-pong balls, were nesting comfortably inside her palm. 

She recalled her mother’s words. 

“If you ever reach this beautiful place before I get to speak to you about it, make sure you find the small sacred shed. You will recognize it with the fact that it has no windows and only one door. Go inside. You will find a treasure only you can see. Keep it with you under any circumstances. It will protect you and those you come in contact with.”

Prior to being chased by the unknown men, Gabrielle had stepped into the shed. It was like her mother had mentioned. No windows to look into and only one door. Inside, no light could pour in. It had encapsulated a smell of darkness. But not the kind of darkness that creeps in and scares us. No, it was a different kind of darkness. One that held the seed of tomorrow; the seed of growth.

Somehow it smelled like the fragrant of a new life; a newborn baby or a new existence raising from the ashes. The lava stones where the only thing she found. 

“I have the treasure mother; now what?” 

Out in the woods, something caught her attention. She scanned the forest but no signs of danger.

Then, she heard cracking branches a few inches from her. 

“Grab my hand.” A voice whispered. 

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Paperback here we come!

First, let me thank you, from the bottom of my heart for the fantastic launch. You guys were so fantastic in sending me encouragement, buying a copy and reviewing it online. And thank you for spreading the word with your friends and loved ones. It has been a phenomenal few weeks. Ps. If you won a prize in the giveaway, I'll be sending them over next week. I was waiting for another little surprise to add on to it. (Giveaway is closed.)

In case I haven't gotten around to sharing the news with your directly, know that the paperback version of Treasures of the unseen is ready to be ordered and shipped to you! Yay!

Just go to your online Amazon store and click on the paperback version. - For those who wanted to order directly from me, I'm sorry to say that I've sold out all my books in less than an hour when the box came in last weekend. I won't be ordering anymore soon, so make sure you grab your copy on the Amazon store... Thanks! 

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I still can't believe how beautiful and sleek the cover is.

When you're holding the book in your hands, you simply want to nest somewhere comfortable and read until the last page! It is so enjoyable and easy to read. I've received so many comments from readers who found themselves wanting to know more and wanting to dive right into the next book! 

I hear you... I, myself, am also eager to dive in and see what happens next. ;)

You might be surprised to hear that I don't really know what's gonna happen next. As a matter of fact, I don't always decide what I write; usually, the words come to me. I have a brief idea of what the story will be about, but the story itself, and how it wants to be shared, has a mind of its own and doesn't unravel all at once... 

Anyways, I'm super excited to be able to make this version available for you guys, so don't wait any longer and go grab your copy! ;) 

What its like to work with an editor

Before I wrote my first book, I thought the hard part was coming up with ideas, putting them nicely together and writing a full draft. 

Well, early on, I discovered that writing a draft is only part of the equation and just the beginning. 

After months (or more accurately, years) of working on my first book, I had no idea what was waiting for me after I've managed to write that first draft. I was exhausted from the late nights and early mornings trying to juggle real-life responsibilities and the call of duty with the nudge of my inspiration and my creativity. 

That's when I met my editor. 

Proudly entering the editing process, with months spent on self-editing, I was confident that my book was good and that not much change would be needed to make it even better. I couldn't have been further from the truth. 

I can remember it like it was yesterday. 

I was eager to have a professional eye set on my manuscript, and I was ready to welcome feedback. But what I didn't anticipate what the amount of work I would still need to do before I could ever say I have a book

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Here's how it went: 

  1. First, I wrote the draft;
  2. Then, I let it rest for a few weeks;
  3. I came back to the draft and changed a few things;
  4. A few rounds of self-edits (once with a printed version, the second on my laptop);
  5. Another few rounds of self-edits (once for the story plot, the second for characters, and settings);
  6. When done, and satisfied, I ran the whole manuscript through a grammar software;
  7. It was now ready to be sent to my editor (here's where the real work begins!);
  8. It came back alongside a few pages of valuable overall feedback AND more than 400 comments of things to change. (words, sentences, story, characters, timeline, pacing, plot; everything under the hood was looked at);
  9. So, I re-wrote the whole thing (altered the timeline, deleted scenes, added chapters, etc.) 
  10. Not once, 
  11. or twice, 
  12. but three times!
  13. I re-did a few rounds of self-edits;
  14. And rerun the whole thing through the grammar software;
  15. Now, it was time for early readers to go through it;
  16. When their comments came back, I made the changes;
  17. Re-did the self-edits/grammar process;
  18. And sent it over to my editor one last time for proofreading;
  19. It came back with 48 changes (not too bad!). 
  20. Motivated, but weary, I made the changes one by one until I was all done; 
  21. The final draft went a third time through the grammar process;
  22. And when that was done, I imported the file through my formatting software and read the whole book a few more times to catch mistakes and make it look good.
  23. Then, I created the files, and there it was; ready to be published!
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So, if you ever wondered why it takes so long for authors to write a book, that gives you a good idea why.

Oh, and by the way, new authors usually have to go through this while they are working a full-time job. That's when you wonder if we are crazy! I think we are yes, but now that I have gone through it all (and I can testify that it has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life), I know it's what I love doing and wouldn't trade it for anything.