That Occasional Introduction that You Need to Make

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.

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A Personal Update

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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The Search For The Unicorns – The search for the books

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.

Trying to Find My Way

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

The Beginning of the Beta

At first you may be saying to yourself, “Doesn’t Alpha come before Beta?”

I don’t know! It’s all Greek to me!

Now that I’ve gotten that bad joke out of the way, I am happy to announce that on Friday I will be putting up the first chapter of The Search for the Unicorns for people to read and give feedback on. I will be relying on this feedback in order to improve the book so your honest opinion is important to me.

Normally an author would send their manuscript to their beta readers before they begin the publication process. But I am not the author and I don’t have any beta readers….yet. My hope is that after reading the chapters as I release them you can decide for yourself if you want to join my beta reading team for this and for future books.

As I release each chapter (hopefully at the rate of two chapters a week, not counting this week or the final week) I will include questions to keep in mind. If you are the type who would rather read the entire thing all at once, just let me know and I can send you a beta copy once I’ve released all of the chapters.

For those of you who want to contact me you can sign up for my newsletter or feel free to email me at [email protected]

Thanks for reading! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

The Mabinogion and Other Myths and Legends

So one of the things that has struck me while editing my Dad’s stories, specifically the most recent one, is that it seems as though he drew from Welsh, Irish and Anglo Saxon influences.

I wanted to learn a little more about the myths and that’s when I fell upon the Mabinogion. Of course, because I am a woman of little time, I not only bought a copy of the Mabinogion, but I also, have started listening to some podcasts which retell the old legends.

The nice thing about reading old myths and legends is that they are in public domain and therefore can easily be accessed via Project Gutenberg and even on Amazon. Although I really want to eventually have a collection of myths and legends in hard copy to add to my already overflowing bookshelves.

The Lost Worlds of JP Wagner

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.