In celebration of Painted Memories becoming a Selah Awards Finalist, I wanted to take the time to pause and introduce you to my band of “merry men” who work so faithfully behind the scenes. I couldn’t deliver your favorite stories without them!
I had shared this with my newsletter subscribers last month, but I can’t brag about my team enough, so I’m sharing again to make sure everyone’s heard about the amazing people who have gifted me with their time and talents.
Let’s start with the cover, shall we? I actually designed this one myself, but I’ve yet to master the art of the paperback cover (or the full cover). So enters Krista Noorman.
I introduced you to her last month. She’s one of the first author friends that I made and she has designed almost all of my full covers. I trust her so completely. She gets me. And with this particular backcover, we were trying to match Dance With Me and keep the door open for yet a 3rd cover down the road.
And she nailed it! My heart skips a beat when I try to picture what the 3rd full cover will look like. I’m so moved that I’m tempted to stop right here and now and go pen the novel. SIGH. “All in good time, my pretty, all in good time.” (High five if you know what I was quoting!)
Now for the critique partners. In fact, this very novel was dedicated to my top 2 steady, Eddie critiquers. I cannot even begin to explain to you what this draft looked like before it was finalized.
At one point there were actually 3 different versions! Not three different stories, but 3 different layouts to the same story. We considered telling it in chronological order as well as sandwiching the flashback chapters in the middle of the story (which was the way it was originally written, FYI). But it was deemed that a back and forth dual-timeline layout was the best way to tell it.
The inscription reads:
To Dana Kamstra and Amanda Tero
Great books like this one can only happen with great critique partners like you! Thank you for all your help!
After a draft is “finalized” it needs to be cleaned up. That’s when we attack the stray commas and incorrect verb usage, etc. Because I self-publish, I rely on faithful volunteers.
I may be creative, but I’m sloppy, and I rely on them to whip me into shape. I run each draft through 2-3 editors at a time, making corrections, then sending it off to the next round of editors.
Here is my team: Kimberly Bowie, Becky Dempsey, Esther Filburn, Kim Hampton, Carolyn Neinas, Krista Noorman, Alicia G. Ruggieri (also one of my first author buddies!), and Jimmy Yates.
Then there’s Ms. Judy. She’s one of the sound Christian ladies at my church. She reads over each draft, verifying that I’m not writing anything that we believe goes against the Bible. It’s a safeguard that I’m grateful to have.
And last is my Cheer Squad. I may appear cool and confident in the picture, posing with my book, but, behind the scenes, I’m a bit of a mess. Like many authors, I’m prone to doubts and seasons of discouragement and defeat. I really rely on these ladies to cheer me on and pick me up when I’m down.
My cheer squad includes almost all of the people mentioned so far as well as Marilyn Ridgway, Brenda Murphree, Pam Lunsford, Kimberly Francisco, Stephanie Daniels, Darla Damron, Kathleen Anderson, Abigail Harris, Raechel Lenore, Kimberly Villalva, Deana Dick, and Debbie Curto.
Thank you for indulging me and allowing me the chance to showcase these amazing people!