A Peek Behind the Curtains as a Memoir Goes to Press

Now that I’ve finally finished the last draft of The Burning Light of Two Stars: A Mother-Daughter Story, my memoir that tells the tumultuous story of my fiery, lifelong relationship with my mother, shared it with 150 beta readers, and signed a contract for its October 2021 publication with Girl Friday Press, and am deep into the actual book production process, I’m starting a new weekly series of blog posts that will go back in time and explore what it took to write The Burning Light of Two Stars, and also document some of what it takes to produce a book, create an audiobook, and prepare for a book launch.

People who aren’t authors have no idea what goes into creating a book. It took me eleven years to write The Burning Light of Two Stars, and I tried to quit many times. I walked away from the project repeatedly, but something always pulled me back. Readers of a completed, polished memoir or novel don’t understand the craft, mental stamina, emotional challenges, repetitive daily work, and support necessary to actually bring a seed, an idea, a bunch of disjointed scenes, and ultimately a working manuscript, to life. This blog will give you a peek behind that curtain.

The Making of The Burning Light of Two Stars will include notes from coaching sessions from the three main editors/coaches who helped me in the years it took to complete The Burning Light of Two Stars. I’ll include actual notes from our sessions, parts of emails, phone conversations and written critiques I received. As well as sharing my response to their notes.

I’ll also include early drafts of scenes that made it into the book as well as scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor—and tell you why. I’ll share intimate explorations into my heart and soul, journal entries and writing practice that illuminate my process, document my creative exhilaration and despair, and reveal times I wanted to give up entirely, certain I didn’t have what it takes to complete this memoir and put it out into the world.

As I move through the production stages for The Burning Light of Two Stars and its companion audiobook, I’ll also share the realities of those publication experiences with you—printed book, eBook and audiobook.

Throughout the series, I’ll frame these posts with reflections and skills I’ve picked up in my thirty-five-year career as an author and my twenty+ years as a writing teacher. So hopefully, you’ll not just get to peek behind the curtain, you’ll also gain some tangible skills that will be beneficial in your own writing and storytelling.

I can’t wait to share it all with you! To receive the series in your inbox, sign up for my newsletter here. As a special bonus, you’ll immediately receive Writing Toward Courage: A Thirty-Day Practice, a free downloadable e-book I created to help people meet life’s toughest challenges (and let’s face it; we all need courage right now). You don’t have to consider yourself a writer to benefit from the inspiring quotes and provocative questions that fill this book.

Look for the first post next Thursday.

Read the rest of the posts in this series…

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