One Writer’s Journey

October 20, 2016

Author’s Copies! Women in History Have Arrived

women-in-historyAbout 30 minutes after we had finished dinner my son tossed a comment back over his shoulder as he left the room.  “Oh, yeah.  They delivered your books.”

“What books?”

“Your books, Mom.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“You were on the treadmill.”  Granted, I’d been off the treadmill for slightly more than an hour and a half but my son and husband found this perfectly reasonable.  Of course, I pretty much blew my credibility because, at that point, I spun around and tripped over a pair of wet shoes someone had left by the front door.  Someone.  They were, coincidentally, my sandals.

The last 24 hours had been more than a little book crazy.  At almost 10 pm, I got a rewrite request.  I’ve been waiting for a rewrite request but this wasn’t from the same author.  It seems that the publisher had reviewed this particular book after it had gone through design.  He wanted changes and I can’t say that I disagree.  They will definitely improve the whole.  But that’s not what I was expecting to work on today.

Fortunately, I got the changes in and then had another e-mail.  Rewrite request?  Nope.  Just letting me know that I’d have it in about a week.

Then we had dinner and then I found out my books had arrived.  Aren’t they fantastic?  That’s Women in Sports to the left and Women in Science  to the right.  I have to say that the book design is quite nice and I was surprised by how many of the photographs I recognized from Women in Sports.  They didn’t ask for suggestions so they independently picked out photos I found while researching the topic.

The only book for which I’ve made photo suggestions so far has been Ancient Maya.  That was tricky because they couldn’t always get the photos I had found and had to use something else.  Since I had also written photo captions, that meant having to rewrite photo captions.  That’s one of the things about series writing.  I submit my best possible manuscript, incorporating changes they requested based on the outline.  They read my manuscript and all of the others in the series.  They ask for changes, sometimes because a topic was extensively covered in another book.

Speaking of which, I wonder what changes they’ll want on the last manuscript?  Until I find out, I’ll have to find something else to do.  Maybe I should start by putting up my shoes?

–SueBE

August 22, 2016

Women in Science and Women in Sports

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:19 am
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women in sciencewomen in sportsWhat a great way to start my week.  My two most recent books are out from Abdo Publishing.  Women in Science and Women in Sports are part of the eight title series, Women’s Lives in History.

The most difficult part of these two books wasn’t deciding what to include and what to leave out.  That said, that was difficult.  No matter how many different women I included, someone was left out.  Some aspect of science or some sport were left out.  Between narrative, examples of sporting or scientific women, and the sidebars I worked in as much as possible.

The most difficult part was discovering and refining the narrative that linked them all.  These books are nonfiction.  The stories that they tell are factual, but I had to have an overarching narrative.  How were things changing in this field?  At this time?

As is always the case, I learned a lot writing these books.  Would I want to do something similar again in the future?  Maybe.  These were the two most difficult books that I’ve ever written.  I knew sports would be tough because my background in and knowledge of sports isn’t as broad as my background in science.  But science was just as difficult if not more so.  Let’s just say that I thought digesting physics so that I could write about it was tough until I had to work on the section on pure math.

Difficulties aside, I’m glad I wrote them and I can see them filling a need in the schools.  Yes, there are books out about female athletes and female scientists but they focus on a few people (Wilma Rudolph and Marie Curie). Yes there are few others but not as many as you might expect.  These books will help fill that void.

Really, really looking forward to having the author’s copies in hand.

–SueBE

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