Last summer on July 9, I met Aunt Virginia at Panera for lunch. I don’t remember any of the discussion, other than her suggestion. It was time, she said, that I turn my childhood adventure series into a real adventure series.
This summer on July 9 – yesterday – Trapped in the Tunnel, book one of the Brady Street Boys Indiana Adventure Series arrived on our porch. Isn’t that cool? I only discovered the coincidence yesterday when I looked back in my five year journal to last year.
Now, it’s hard to imagine last July 9. No pregnancy yet, no Anina. I can say without question that this summer has been much more fun than last summer. But I’m so glad that my aunt suggested it when she did! I’m not sure that I would have launched into Book One in the middle of morning sickness. Correction. I’m sure I would not have. But since the story was already conceived, I was able to keep it alive. (I think I’ve been around my husband’s puns too long.)
It’s strange to think it took longer to bring a 220 page book into the world than a baby. But here we are, 365 days later. Books 2 and 3 are already begun though, so it’s not fair to say I spent an entire year on Book 1. (Whew. Thank God you can’t have three pregnancies going on at once! Books are stressful enough.)
Let me tell you about the four trimesters of writing Trapped in the Tunnel.
Drafting and reading part of the draft to my nieces and nephews at our family gathering in Iowa. Dracko, the boy who used to live with us, also read and enjoyed Trapped in the Tunnel last fall.
Finding an illustrator was agonizing. It seemed so deathly critical to pick the right person. I had two artists draw whimsical, old-fashioned samples for me, and I liked them both. Finally, I made a decision. Josh Tufts has come through quite well since then. Several beta readers told me how much they loved the pictures.
(For those interested in the finer details, I found illustrators through Reedsy, an online platform that connects editors, illustrators, designers, and more with authors.)
Editing and final read through. This was the time I went to the cabin in the woods and worked like crazy on the final draft of Trapped in the Tunnel while Marnell went to his nephew’s wedding in Mississippi. Here’s where I used ProWritingAid, software that searches for final improvements on the book. ProWritingAid can do things that it is very hard for human editors to catch, like how many times words or phrases are used.
Ordering proof copies, mailing templates, getting a final proofread. Fighting with Amazon. 🙂 I have a number of files on my computer with titles such as “Ingram Complaints” and “Amazon Glitches.” Thankfully, the designers at Viewfinder Creative didn’t throw their hands in the air, but kept on helping me through it. We sent the final files to Carlisle Press in Ohio for a “brick and mortar” print run as well. I also ordered Brady Street Boys stickers to include when people buy directly from me.
Ask your local librarian to order the paperback book through Ingram. They can order from me too, of course, but they will likely know what Ingram is and it will be easier for them.
Finally, just yesterday, we packaged pre-orders. The books go out today!
So now we have a new baby, and a new book baby. Here they are!
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3 adventurous and daring brothers investigate the strange house next door. Their antics get them into a situation they haven’t bargained for.
I appreciated this book because it depicted a solid Christian family life with Biblical values and a good work ethic.
Another aspect that, as the parent of special needs children, I appreciated was that 2 of the brothers in the story have physical challenges. One has asthma, and another is an amputee. Though these things created some challenges, the characters in the story continued to live life to the full.Crystal, early reviewer