January 2, 2023


When I started working on this post/newsletter, the goal was to publish it on December 26. Well, I failed at that. Because my energy is constantly low, and I had to bake and shovel snow for three days. So that didn’t happen. I hope you’re having a really nice Holiday Season. Most importantly, may 2023 be better than the last three (I mean… did anyone have a good year since 2019?) 😬

Let’s have some (homemade) cookies and celebrate ourselves!

So, it’s not a “Boxing Day” edition… which is just as well, seeing as I don’t have anything to sell. Well, not yet. But I will. Soon. I just can’t say when exactly.

By that, I mean that I may have to push the Salvation of Judas publishing date to February. Not to be dissing anyone, but I can’t “trust” that the Amazon typesetters/graphic designers know what they’re doing at this point.

I mean, they probably do, to a certain extent, but I’m not sure they know much about publishing conventions. Or typography, for that matter. They’re just not lucky to have me as a client. Because I kind of know about this stuff. 

I found so many frustrating things in the first proof they sent me for the book’s insides. Seems to me they just made a straight-up “copy-paste” of my manuscript, and it makes me really anxious. I hope I will have found most mistakes. Okay, many mistakes/changes were mine, I can’t blame them for everything. But anything pertaining to the layout is supposed to be their job.

Anyway. That is the main reason the publishing date may be later than anticipated. I sent back my comments (180 in a 400-page book), and I needed to ask to see a “true layout” just so I can make sure the pages are where they should be. As in, every chapter needs to start on the right-hand page. I don’t care if it means there’ll be a blank page on the left, that’s just how it should be done. I’m a traditionalist.

Which means I have become the client from hell. I am the very thing I loathed when I worked. Although, to be perfectly honest, it was our job to make things right, both in grammar and typography. So that was not something we’d usually get notes on (unless we had made a mistake, of course). And we did make mistakes, nobody’s perfect.

Still, I will probably decide to go with KDP (Kindle Direct Printing) for my next book, assuming that I don’t find an agent. Not only is KDP free, but I’ll be the one preparing the layout and will be able to do it the way I want it from the get-go. 

Those are the news about The Salvation of Judas. I still don’t have a definite date, but as soon as I do, I’ll communicate the hell out of it.

As for the Redwater Creek series I’m working on, I’m finally done with the first draft of Volume 1, The Book of Avery. I have to decide how I will tackle the rest. I already have the draft for Volume 2, The Book of Justice, almost finished, but it will need a major rewrite. I have made significant changes to the story as I wrote Volume 1, and I want to change the perspective for Vol.2. So I’m tempted to leave it alone to work on the other Volumes instead. 

I toyed with the idea of starting the draft for Volume 3, The Book of Julie, and then drafting Volume 4 (The Book of Nicole) and Volume 5 (The Book of Margaret). As in, write everything just to ensure I’m cohesive in the lore of this series. That’s a whole lot of books before being ready to go back to Volume 1.

Because if each book will be standalone, they will still be part of the same “universe” or “story”. Each novel will deal with someone who’s a part of a “cursed” lineage. The stories are intertwined, just like some characters will be in more than one book, just not in the same manner or importance. 

Then it hit me! I’m glad I decided to take the Holidays to think it over because I know how I’ll be doing this instead. Before I write my drafts, I like to write up a somewhat detailed plan of how the story should go. I list and detail the characters I intend to portray, their origins and fates, and then I plan the novel chapter by chapter. It helps me shape up the story, and it’s the starting point for my draft.

So, doing this for each volume before I work on my drafts should give me enough of an overall idea so I won’t need to write all my drafts before I go in for a rewrite. I really need to ensure I don’t make the prequels irrelevant by revealing everything at once.

I may intend to have each of the volumes be standalone, but I still want each story to have a bit of mystery and surprise. What would be the point in knowing who the killer is in the first book if we are to tackle that story in the third book, you know what I mean? Anyway, lots of planning needs to be done.

All because I decided to write this “saga-like series” backward. And you’d be right to think I may like to over-complicate things for myself. And yeah, I know this could be the biggest mistake of all mistakes. I can’t help it, it is the way this story wants to be told. 

So those are the news for now. I hope your Christmas (or whatever else you’re celebrating) was/is all you want it to be. And most of all, let me repeat myself when I say I honestly hope 2023 treats you well.

Katleen A. Cooke logo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *