With the new year I have decided to do a quick mission statement post to introduce (or reintroduce) people to this blog.
Who am I?
My name is Beth Wagner, I am a comic creator turned editor and publisher. My father, J.P. Wagner, was a writer. He was a published journalist and his first novel was officially published a few months after he died. But his last words to me were to protect his books. Which I took to mean, publish them.
What is this blog?
Basically, this blog is me rambling. But more specifically, it’s me rambling about writing, editing and things that I think my dad thought were cool. I try to write things in a way that I think he would want things to be written on this blog.
I will also write about my thoughts and feelings as I edit his manuscripts. For example, I would write about what I remember going on in our lives at the time he was writing a specific manuscript. Or, if I find something interesting that I think my dad would have liked.
What this blog is not.
This blog is not an indelible shrine to my dad. It is not a solemn, gloomy place and if it ever gets like that, then it’s time for a holiday.
What are my plans for this blog?
My plans for this blog is to entertain you with interesting stories and my unusual process in editing and publishing my dad’s books as well as to inform you when his books are being published.
Happy New Year!
Looking forward to another year of entertaining you;
I’ve just finished the first read through of the manuscript for the Sword of Justice.
My first impressions?
The concept is solid. A little reworking is necessary, but the general plot itself is solid. This means I can give it the go ahead to continue editing it, and after my faithful beta readers have had a chance to read it, it can be published!
I already have a fantastic idea for a cover and I can’t wait to start working on it.
I’ll give you all more tidbits as I work. Talk to you all very soon!
What are you looking at?
Aside from the sword, you see before you two manuscripts. From the description of the file, I am assuming that these are the same story. One was written in 1981 and the other in 1982.
What is interesting is the title, The Guardian of the Sword. I am already reading a manuscript called The Sword of Justice and now I have to wonder if they are related. If they are, does this come before or after? Is this even part of the series? The only way to find out is to read it after I finish the other manuscript but I am very curious.
For those of you who are wondering about what the Sword of Justice story is about, the most vague description is that it’s about a wizard and his apprentice who must unite the wizard council to stop a tyrant who is plotting to take over the kingdom. Super vague but don’t worry! I’ll get more detailed once I start cursory edits on it.
Also, I’d like to apologise to my assistant who suggested I triage all of the manuscripts before I work on them. You make a good point, except that I really am enthralled by this series and therefore I feel that I really need to work on this series. Yay goals and directions!
So, in the off chance that you are just meeting/landing on this site, let me explain a little bit about myself and what’s going on here.
So, my name is Beth Wagner, I am an editor, writer, comic creator and artist. This website is dedicated to my father and his writing, as well as talking about my journey as I publish the novels that he wasn’t able to in his lifetime.
I not only talk about his writing and announce my progress, I also talk about some of his interests as I remember that also interest me.
I am not him but I want to build the kind of community that he would have been able to build had he lived long enough to do so.
He currently has two novels which have been released to the ebook market. Railroad Rising is his first book and his newest release which is The Search for the Unicorns.
If you want sneakpeaks on what I’m doing then please subscribe to my newsletter!
As I am editing the final proof for the Amazon print copy of The Search for the Unicorns I’m having a moment to reflect on the author, my dad.
Unlike many publishers, I have an emotional attachment to the author and his work because he was my dad, but not only that. As I read over the manuscripts I remember at what stage in his life he was and where I was.
In 1987, I would have been in grade 6 going into grade 7. I also can’t help but think that the main character Carla, had bits of me in there, no matter how small. It is very much a coming of age story and discovering who you are as a person. This is something that I was beginning to explore at that age. So interesting point there.
Which makes me think about his target audience. Was I his target audience? It wouldn’t be that hard to imagine for me as I grew up hearing him tell me stories, sometimes made up sometimes they were from books. Sometimes the lines blurred. I didn’t realise for the longest time that parents simply didn’t just make up stories to tell their kids so that they would fall asleep.
Which brings me to why I’m self-publishing his books. I’m self-publishing all of his novels that I can, mostly for myself and also for his memory. Is it at all about sales? No, it’s about putting out stories that should be out there on shelves and in homes of people. But even if no one buys a single copy of any of these books, as long as I’ve marketed them and have made them as accessible as possible, I’ll have done what I perceive as my job.
Having said that, there are things that I can do that a traditional publisher wouldn’t and couldn’t do. Like a series of pictures based on scenes from the book and like hand leather-bound limited editions of the book. These are the next projects that I will be working on, along with the next manuscript of course.
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So a little update on what’s going on. I am currently uploading things and formatting everything.
Technically, the book is available for Kindle, HOWEVER, it has serious formatting issues and I have to fix them, so I will be doing this in the next few days. So if you happen to see anything, please do not buy anything yet. I am learning the ins and outs of uploading files to Amazon, (which is not at all like uploading comics, let me tell you).
For good the news, I just sent away for proofs for the paperback edition of the book, that’s going to take 2 to 3 weeks (barring any issues in customs) to get to me, then I will be reviewing it, likely crying and then making any last minute adjustments.
On a bright note? I am learning what order I have to do this process in and how long everything takes, which is why this book was my practise book. Not to worry, in a year or so I will go back and fix the silly little mistakes I made here as I will have learned more about editing and publishing .
Thanks for listening! I will keep everyone updated as I work on getting everything set to go.
Most people would take that title to mean that I am a lost soul. Perhaps I am.
But more immediately, I am trying to get an idea of the world that The Search for the Unicorns is set in. I wanted to be able to describe a bit more of the world in the book to help the readers.
The first thing I have to do is to see if he created a map of this world or if I need to create my own. I know that he kept everything in the story fairly vague which is nice because it allows the reader to imagine themselves in the story more. However, I want to add a little description. Just a little. I also want to know where the characters are going. Are they in a forest? Are they in the mountains? Where are they?!
A quick search tells me that he didn’t create a map for this world. What does that mean for me? It means that I am going to take tonight to create a vague map of the world. I am not a cartographer and my sense of direct is terrible. Here goes nothing
So I’m one and a half chapters away from finishing my second round of editing markups!
What does this mean for you, the reader?
It means that by the end of this week, possibly even sooner, I will begin the final revision process. Once I finish revising each chapter I will be releasing to this very website in hopes of getting some (ideally all) of you to do some beta reading for me!
I’ll be talking more about this as I get ready to finally release the chapters and how the beta reading process will go. So stay tuned!
Because sometimes you have to cut a few lines from your story….
Tonight I’m reconstructing lost worlds.
It’s just as exciting as it sounds!
For those in the know, this is an old story map of my Dad’s. This isn’t the world that I’m working on this evening, but in years to come I will eventually work with it.
Tonight I’m working on the world of the book that I’m editing, The Search For the Unicorns. That is because my imagination was sparked by a few of the passages from the book and I want to play around with them a bit to see if I can make more out of them.
If anything significant happens, I’ll post it here.