I’m hosting a guest post today by author Michael Thal, author of “Koolura and the Mayans”, who talks about editing.
Michael Thal Discusses the Editing Process
I’m the author of five published novels, Goodbye Tchaikovsky, The Abduction of Joshua Bloom, and the Koolura Series—The Legend of Koolura, Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback, and Koolura and the Mayans. My most recent novel, Koolura and the Mayans, was published two weeks ago. Currently, I’m beginning a new book with the working title “Gem of Peace: The Story of a Deaf Girl in Iran”. The book will be a young adult novel celebrating the life of my beloved Jila, who died last year of colon cancer.
The first step in the writing process is research. Consequently, I’m interviewing Jila’s relatives—brother, sisters, cousins, and friends to get a clear picture regarding all the details of life in Iran during the 50s and 60s. Once that step is complete, I’ll plot out the chapters highlighting significant events that characterize Jila’s sweet personality and the trials she endured growing up deaf in a country that shunned anyone with a disability.
Once that is complete, I’ll write my first chapter. Since Jila and I were engaged for 16 years and married in our hearts and minds, I’m thinking of writing the book in the first person. When the first chapter is complete, I’ll take it to my writing group.
The four-member San Fernando Valley Critique Group meets once a month. First we chat about our lives and what’s been happening during the past month since our last meeting. Then each one of us reads our current chapter or short story. A copy is passed out to all members and they make editorial changes and suggestions for improvement.
At home we’ll make changes to our stories and submit the new chapters to members via e-mail. We read and review. I’ll make changes and save chapter one. Then I’ll go ahead and write the second chapter, etc.
When I finished writing Koolura and the Mayans, I turned the book over to one of our members. She read the book carefully and offered suggestions. I made the changes, and then turned the book to a second member. After she commented, I made more changes then submitted the book to my editor at Solstice Publishing.
The Solstice editor made this comment about Koolura and the Mayans, “Your book is near perfect, so the editing process will be fast.”
And it was. I submitted the book in November 2015 and it was published before the spring flowers were blooming.
Writing can be a lonely routine. Make sure you set goals for yourself and stick to those objectives. Koolura and the Mayans took two years to write. I’m expecting “Gem of Peace” to take about the same length of time if I stick to my goals and make sure a chapter is written in a timely fashion.
About the Book
Author: Michael Thal
Genre: YA Science-Fiction
Koolura, a girl with extraordinary psychic powers, is back again with pal Leila. The duo is off to Mexico for Koolura’s father’s wedding. When touring a Mayan archeological dig, the girls uncover a mysterious device that hurtles them 2000 years back in time. They soon discover aliens from the planet Aquari living amongst Mayan natives. Are these Aquarians planning to take over Earth? And can Koolura and Leila stop them in time?
Michael Thal is the author of five published novels—Goodbye Tchaikovsky, The Abduction of Joshua Bloom, and The Koolura Series—The Legend of Koolura, Koolura and The Mystery at Camp Saddleback, and Koolura and the Mayans. He is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Examiner writing articles about parenting and education.
Moving from the frigid Northeast to comfy Southern California in 1973, Michael taught elementary and middle school for 28 years until a freak virus left him deafened at the age of 50. He reinvented himself as a writer composing over 80 published articles in print magazines as well as novels for middle grade and high school aged students.
Amazon Purchase Links:
Goodbye Tchaikovsky: http://amzn.to/1iLT46V
The Abduction of Joshua Bloom: http://amzn.to/1Vro1K4
The Legend of Koolura: http://amzn.to/1iLTiv2
Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback: http://amzn.to/1M2aSSL
Barnes & Noble Purchase Links:
The Abduction of Joshua Bloom: http://tinyurl.com/h9tawtf
The Legend of Koolura: http://tinyurl.com/j9hm8ek
Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback: http://tinyurl.com/gkq6y44
Goodbye Tchaikovsky: http://tinyurl.com/bh95ht7
The Abduction of Joshua Bloom: http://tinyurl.com/zd3es8p
The Legend of Koolura: http://tinyurl.com/h4pqry9
Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback: http://tinyurl.com/zl6mvlm