Category: books

Time Tourist Outfitters, Ltd.

Wilda had retired from the Temporal Agents for an excellent reason.

Awarded First Place in the Science Fiction category for the Writer’s Digest Self-Published E-book Awards (see review below)! 

Nominated for Best Science Fiction in the 2020 Rone Awards at InD’Tale Magazine

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No matter where the watch hands turn, she’d rather remain home. But with every time-traveling trekker’s life at stake, can she stop a deadly clock?

Wilda Firestone survives off black coffee and white-hot sarcasm. And despite the colorful slew of characters filing through her time tourism costume shop, the retired First Nations Temporal Agent would prefer a quiet, more linear existence. So she’s less than impressed when a dying explorer crashes into her store, unleashing a plague that sends countless travelers to an early doom…

Knowing her own lengthy history of chronological excursions grants her some immunity, Wilda vows to jump back in the saddle and seek out answers. But as she retraces the dead man’s steps from 14th century Mali and into 12th century Scotland and beyond, she’s dumbfounded by whatever force reduced an entire village to blood.

Can Wilda stamp out the root of the sickness before she too succumbs?

Time Tourist Outfitters, Ltd. is the intriguing first book in the Toronto Time Agents science fiction series. If you like feisty heroines, beautiful landscapes, and astounding adventures, then you’ll love Christy Nicholas’s explosive tale.

Buy Time Tourist Outfitters, Ltd. to race against the bell today!

Review from the Judge, 8th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards:

“What a fun and intriguing story. Once I started Time Tourist Outfitters, Ltd., I couldn’t put it down! I absolutely love Wilda and watching her navigate society in a variety of times and places was wonderful. When Wilda looked into Baheera’s eyes and described it as “Bryonie’s eyes gazed into mine,” I smiled widely (93). The way the story’s twists came together was rewarding and I don’t know that I’ve enjoyed watching a “Lady Prissy-Pants” get her comeuppance as much as I did in this novel. The history and cultures presented in the tale were incredible and it was both clever and engaging for the reader to read about these details. The diversity of the characters and history also added to the richness of the story and was wonderfully representative of the world at large. The way that everything from the beginning tied together in the end was well crafted and I will absolutely be looking forward to any future sequels. The characters were well developed and the plot was well researched and crafted. The tone of the story was sarcastic but clever and made me laugh quite a bit…”

Past Storm and Fire

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Nominated for Best Science Fiction in the 2020 Rone Awards at InD’Tale Magazine

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Miami, 1992. Val Masterson dreams of having a family. So after her husband refuses to give her children, she feels utterly lost when their home is destroyed in a devastating hurricane. But when a bump on the head triggers visions of a powerful Icelandic heroine from long ago, she frantically writes down her thrilling exploits.

12th century Iceland. Born of Val’s pen, Vigdis has the iron jaw her modern creator never had. Between two brothers vying for her favor and a sorcerer’s magic advances, only the promise of offspring at the end of her tale tempts her away from adventure. And though she graciously accepts her victorious suitor’s hand after an epic duel, she’s heartbroken when the entire community falls into chaos with a violent volcanic eruption.

As Val’s neglect of reality drives her spouse away, she struggles to disconnect from her fantastical fiction. And the more Vigdis is imbued with the survival skills of her author, the closer her ending comes to a shocking realization.

With two realities colliding in her mind, can Val claw her way out of despair?

Past Storm and Fire is a whirlwind of a time travel romance novel. If you like steamy passion, stunning twists, and lush historical backdrops, then you’ll love Christy Nicholas’s gale-force inferno.

Buy Past Storm and Fire to rewrite the follies of fate today!

Review from the Judge, 8th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards:

This book hooks the reader from the beginning, opening with the characters sheltering from a hurricane, dealing with the aftermath of the storm and then their quickly unraveling relationship.

The descriptions throughout are vivid and evocative, easily transporting the reader into the story and creating atmosphere and setting the scene with lines like, “The silence of the night grew eerie. The normal soundtrack of city life, such as cars passing by or the hum of the refrigerator …disappeared.” The birthing scene in Iceland is intense and exceptionally well written.
What’s remarkable about this book is the skillful world-building and how the author switches from Val’s perspective into a whole new story through the novel she’s writing as an escape from her rapidly disintegrating reality and problem-filled, mundane life. This is a love story within a love story, and quite ingenious as one smoothly transitions into the next. The result is a marvelous and multi-layered historically and culturally rich romance, set in two countries, in two radically different time periods. The sense of mystery and wonder and hints of paranormal add to the intrigue, as we learn towards the end that what Val imagined as she wrote is actually true. We’re led to believe it’s a past lifetime. And of course the character Vigdis is in fact a time-traveler.
There’s a wealth of historical detail and interesting facts in this book – from the SCA group and events to 12th century Iceland.
The characters are rich and well-developed, Jorge the trusted and loyal friend and colleague, the vapid husband, Karl, the mean boss, and towards the end the new love interest. Not to mention the Icelandic characters of course, whom we also grow to care for...”


The Eerie Folktales Behind Iceland’s Natural Wonders

Is Iceland magical to you? It is for a lot of others, as well! I went in 2015 and came back enchanted with the land. I set part of my book, Past Storm and Fire, in this mystical landscape.


Source: The Eerie Folktales Behind Iceland’s Natural Wonders

This 14th-Century African Emperor Remains the Richest Person in History – HISTORY

In Time Tourist Outfitters, Ltd., my characters, Wilda and Mattea, visit the court of Mansa Musa in their travels…



In the vast fictional universe of Marvel Comics, T’Challa, better known as Black Panther, is not only king of Wakanda, he’s also the richest superhero of them all. And although today’s fight for the title of wealthiest person alive involves a tug-of-war between billionaire CEOs, the wealthiest person in history, Mansa Musa, has more in common with Marvel’s first black superhero.

Musa became ruler of the Mali Empire in 1312, taking the throne after his predecessor, Abu-Bakr II, for whom he’d served as deputy, went missing on a voyage he took by sea to find the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Musa’s rule came at a time when European nations were struggling due to raging civil wars and a lack of resources. During that period, the Mali Empire flourished thanks to ample natural resources like gold and salt.


See more at:

Source: This 14th-Century African Emperor Remains the Richest Person in History – HISTORY

Call of the Morrigú

Call of the Morrigú

Audio first chapter available here!

Watch me read the first scenes on my YouTube channel!

Would you dare rouse a goddess?

Life wasn’t easy in 1798 Ireland. Rebellions were rising across the countryside, and the English could be cruel overlords. However, this brutality hadn’t reached the country estate of Strokestown.

Theodosia Latimer and her grandfather Reginald, were on a mission to discover the past. They were determined to excavate some ancient mounds on their estate. But when they discovered an imprisoned goddess straight out of Ireland’s rich mythological history, they were both dumbfounded and frightened.

Tasked with integrating this primeval warrior woman into polite society, they developed both respect and fear for the powerful goddess. Would they be able to tame her lust for violence in the upcoming rebellion? Or would they fall victim to it? 

 Drunken Druid Awards Shortlist

The Enchanted Swans

The Enchanted Swans – available now!

Audio first chapter available here – listen now!

Watch me read the first scenes on my YouTube channel!

Winner – Books and Benches Readers’ Choice Book Cover Contest, February 2017

Winner – InD’Tale Magazine Crème de la Cover Contest, May 2017

Winner – Readers’ Favorite Silver Book Award 2017 (Fiction – Fantasy – General)

Finalist – Book Excellence Award 2017 (Fantasy)


Based on the ancient Irish legend of The Children of Lir

In pre-Celtic Ireland, Fionnuala was a fae princess, born to a life of luxury. She knew her duty and loved her family. She missed her mother, who died in childbirth when Fionnuala was but ten years old. Still, she had hopes and dreams of love and a full life.

All her dreams were stolen from her, ripped away in a torrent of envy and magic.

Now she must care for her three brothers while learning to live under an evil curse. Would she find a way to break the spell, or would they remain swans, tethered to three places for nine hundred years?







The Druid’s Brooch Series

The Druid’s Brooch is a family legacy, handed down through countless generations, granting each holder a specific magical power, unique to them.

Follow the stories of these generations.

Watch me read the first scenes on my YouTube channel!

Historical fantasy set in Ireland, 1846 – Book #1

(The rest of the Druid’s Brooch Series is at my publisher’s page HERE)

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When the magical secrets of The Emerald Isle beckon, will she survive answering the call?

Pittsburgh, 1846. Valentia McDowell wishes she could rest. Plagued by nightmares of her grandmother’s mysterious brooch lost in Ireland, the well-off woman grows more troubled when a fire ravages her family’s business. But as she buries herself in the rebuilding efforts, she can’t shake the sense that a powerful inheritance awaits her across the ocean… if she can weather the treacherous journey.

Horrified when the voyage claims her brother’s life and afflicts her with malaria, Valentia believes her grief will be for nothing if she returns from the famine-struck island empty-handed. But as she nears her gran’s birthplace and the last known location of the heirloom, the determined woman draws ever closer to a force beyond her imagination… and a battalion of deadly danger.

Can Valentia uphold a destiny she doesn’t yet understand without losing everyone she loves?

Legacy of Hunger is the sweeping first book in The Druid’s Brooch historical fantasy series. If you like compelling female characters, immersive authenticity, and a dash of magic, then you’ll love Christy Nicholas’s transatlantic quest.

Buy Legacy of Hunger to trace a family treasure today!


Historical fantasy set in Ireland, 1800 – Book #2

(The rest of the Druid’s Brooch Series is at my publisher’s page HERE)

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He gave her a gift. Using it could bring her to madness.

Ireland, 1795. Esme Doherty believes the best of everyone. Despite a drunken father, a bullying twin sister, and a failing farm, the impoverished girl refuses to allow her sunny demeanor to dim. But when her grandfather gives her a magical brooch that enables her to detect lies, she finds her idealism crashing towards a pit of despair.

Wanting only for a family amid the newfound darkness in the world, Esme flees with a trader to seek normalcy in a small village. But after her new neighbors accuse her of witchcraft and she suffers multiple miscarriages, she feels helpless to stand against her fiendish sibling’s designs on her magic…

Can Esme recover from life’s vicious blows before a selfish, jealous woman claims her power?

Legacy of Truth is the bewitching second book in The Druid’s Brooch historical fantasy series. If you like determined heroines, emotional intrigue, and fairy enchantments, then you’ll love Christy Nicholas’s moving struggle.

Buy Legacy of Truth for the consequences of honesty today!

Nominated for Best Historical Fiction in the 2017 Rone Awards at InD’Tale Magazine

Drunken Druid Awards Shortlist 2016


Historical fantasy set in Ireland and Scotland, 1745 – Book #3

Tirgearr Publishing link

Listen to the first chapter audio

Irish Traveler Éamonn loves gambling, women, and drinking, not necessarily in that order. But he’s entangled in a true mess when he falls for fiery redhead, Katie. When she’s married to a Scottish Traveler, Éamonn travels to Scotland to find her, with the help of Katie’s sister and cousin, and the magical brooch gifted by his father. Their quest takes them across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Skye, encountering war, betrayal, death. In the end, Éamonn must make his own luck.


Historical fantasy set in Ireland, 1177.  First in the new trilogy! – Book #4

Tirgearr Publishing Link

Listen to the first chapter audio

Prophecy can be dangerous

In 12th century Ireland, Orlagh has been Seer to her king for forty years. He doesn’t want to hear her prophecies of war and destruction, and dismisses her efforts to warn him. Therefore, she is determined to fulfill her own quest: to find a worthy heir for her magical brooch.

In the course of events, she must pass judgment on a thief, escape a Norman war camp, and battle wits with a Fae lord. She receives some prophecy of her own and enlists the help of a grizzled old warrior, who happens to be a long–time friend.



Historical fantasy set in Ireland, 1114 – Book #5

Tirgearr Publishing Link

Listen to the first chapter audio

Even a soldier cannot fight love

In 12th century Ireland, all Maelan wants is to do his duty to his Chief and maintain his family’s good name. However, his granddaughter Orlagh, is hell bent on wreaking havoc, with no care for the consequences.

When Orlagh falls in love with an itinerant bard, Maelan must rule with an iron fist to keep her from running away. However, her rebellion against his strictures results in disaster and he almost loses her in the same way he lost his beloved wife.

Maelan must make some difficult decisions and bargains with the Fae to save his granddaughter’s life and future. Can he save her happiness as well?



Historical fantasy set in Ireland, 1055 – Book #6

Tirgearr Publishing Link

Listen to the first chapter audio
— Time Heals No Wounds —

In 11th century Ireland, Étaín must hide her pagan magic from her pious Christian priest husband, Airtre. She wants to escape his physical abuse, but she must stay to protect their grandson, Maelan. Over many lifetimes, she has learned how to endure her own pain, but Maelan is young and vulnerable.

When Airtre’s paranoia and jealousy spiral out of control, Étaín has no choice but to escape in the night with little more than the clothing on her back, leaving a trusted friend to protect Maelan.

This is not the first lifetime Étaín has fled, and she knows how to survive. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she must make decisions that may result in disaster for her, her grandson, and everyone she loves.

Finalist for Best Historical Fiction in the 2019 Rone Awards at InD’Tale Magazine


Historical fantasy set in Ireland, 520 – Book #7

Tirgearr Publishing Link

Listen to the first chapter audio

A daring escape, a brother’s duty, and a tragic mistake.

When Conall’s father died, he made his son promise always to take care of his little sister, Lainn.

Lainn could sing the bees from their hives, and make the morning sun sparkle in the winter with her laughter. Conall loved his sister with all his heart, and would do anything to protect her, even without a promise to his father.

He failed.

Between an abusive step-father, a powerful Faerie Queen, and a maddened Fae Lord, every decision Conall made seemed to be the wrong one. Starvation, imprisonment, madness, and disfigurement plagued them. Even when he tried to follow his heart, it turned to disaster.

Can Conall correct his mistakes and save Lainn’s life and soul? Would it cost him his own?



Historical fantasy set in Ireland, 460 – Book #8

Tirgearr Publishing Link

Fingin had no drive in his life until he finds a half-drowned dog who becomes his best friend. That friend leads him to a cottage where a powerful woman sends him on a quest to find his grandmother. With his dog, Bran, and a donkey, Sean, they embark upon their journey. The problem is, his grandmother no longer seems to exist in this world.

Between falling in with a band of Fianna, nearly drowning in a river, and climbing to the rocky top of Skellig Michael, Fingin had just about had enough of this quest when some magical creatures sent him in the correct direction.

Once he finds his grandmother, he realizes nothing works out as it should have. She is far from what he remembers and even further from what he’d expected. And she entangled in a power struggle of her own and has little time to attend her wayward grandson.

Soon, a battle ensues, and Fingin is caught in the middle. He decisions will have long-term consequences for himself and those he loves.


Historical fantasy set in Ireland, 420.  Final book in the series – Book #9

Tirgearr Publishing Link

Clíodhna has three children and a missing husband, and now finds herself in the middle of growing quarrels with the new church.

When she encounters a strange man in the woods near her house, she discovers a kindred soul, someone to teach her to harness her own innate talents and powers.

At the new church, she develops a friendship with one of the monks, and shares many conversations with him about life, philosophy, and theology. For once, it seems her life is becoming a thing to be savored rather than a thing to simply survive.

Her new teacher, however, clashes with the ideals of the church. Her relationship with the monk is another source of conflict when a new church leader arrives.

A few rash decisions means she must now change her own fate. That means choosing between her happiness—perhaps even her life—and her family. It might be better for all involved if she leaves her children with a trusted friend and disappears into another world.

Can she flee a bad situation, leaving her children to the mercies of fate? Or does she have the power and ability to face the danger herself?

Finalist for Best Historical Fiction in the 2021 Rone Awards at InD’Tale Magazine


A Druid’s Brooch Short Story

Tirgearr Publishing Link

After his wife dies in childbirth, Turlough decides his children will be better off with their aunt. He leaves in the middle of the night, with only his son, Ruari. Turlough and Ruari travel west to find music, the other true love in Turlough’s life. Unwittingly sleeping under an ancient Faerie stone, they wake up in Faerie. Amidst enchanting music, they almost lose their souls before they escape with their lives. When they return, Turlough finds two years have passed, though he’s only been gone two weeks. His mother is waiting for him with the gift of a magical brooch.

How I Write a Novel

How I Write a Novel

This is my methodology. Feel free to use it, borrow it, smash it, mangle it, fold it, staple it, do whatever you like with it to make it work for you, even toss it out and do your own thing. Everyone writes in a different manner, and that’s what makes reading wonderful.


Some people are Pantsers, writing scenes from the seat of their pants, all over the place, and then stringing them together. Diana Gabaldon, bestselling author of the Outlander books, says she does it this way. Others, like me, are Planners. As an accountant, I’m a methodical person. I set things out step by step and, for the most part, follow that plan.


Step 1: Concept

My first novel was easy. I was, in fact, inspired to start writing the story long before I actually gave it a go. The story of my parents’ love, interrupted by 30 years, and finally married because I, the result of their first affair, found my father. But often the concept is difficult to come up with. There is a misconception that the concept needs to be unique, unusual, never done before. Maeve Binchy wrote many wonderful books about people in everyday life, going about their business. Buying houses, losing jobs, going to night school, going to college, whatever it was, she wrote character-driven stories in normal plots.

Other novels are plot-driven, full of adventure, betrayal and alien worlds. Neither is better, nor worse. It’s simply a different market.

My second novel was a bit more difficult. I knew I wanted to write about Ireland, as that is my soul’s home, and I’ve been there many times. There are many areas of history in Ireland that I love, and I felt needed to be highlighted. For instance, the Great Hunger of 1846, when half the population died or emigrated, was a great example. So, what would happen if someone went back, instead? Someone, descended from a prior immigrant, returned to Ireland to find her family, only to discover she was in the midst of a genocide? Also, I wanted to add in some fairy magic, as this was, after all, Ireland, a land of myth and mystery. This became the concept for my second novel, Legacy of Hunger. “A spoiled young lady travels back to Ireland in 1846 to discover her family and a lost magical heirloom.”


Step 2: Synopsis

Once I had the concept, I used something called the Snowflake Method. It’s what I use – not everyone will love it, but I do. The basic idea is that you start with your concept, and write one basic sentence about it. Then you expand that into three sentences, adding a few details about plot and character. Then each sentence becomes a paragraph, and then again until you have a 2-3 page synopsis with subplots and minor characters. Sort of like a snowflake gets more details as it gets larger. Get it? Of course!


Step 3: Characters

The synopsis then gets set aside for a moment and I work on characters. The same thing holds true. Start with a name, add some physical and mental characteristics, a couple of motivations. Make sure to add both flaws and virtues. Maybe a nervous tic, or a bad habit or two. Find good names. A basic rule of thumb is not to have them too similar. In fact, keep the beginning letters different if you can. If you have a Tommy, don’t have a Todd as well. Make him a Robert. Or better yet, a Roberto. And Tommy might be better remembered if he’s Tomas. Does Tomas have a cowlick? And perhaps a hook nose. Maybe he has a habit of running his hands through his hair, or clicking his fingers on a surface. And he gambles. But he’s a good guy, after all – all he wants is to help our heroine find her lost cat. As you work on the characters, you may add some subplots to the main synopsis. That’s OK! Go back and add them in.

Step 4: Scene list

This is when I begin to get down and dirty. I write out all of the scenes of my main plot, and then the subplots, and mix them like a salad. Each scene should advance the story, the character, be a bridge, or be removed. Sometimes I have difficulty, but I try. I use an Excel spreadsheet to list out my scenes. Just a short description (and often this gets cut and moved around later). I list the location, date and point of view, to help me keep track of timeline and who is currently in the center of the scene. Here is the example from Legacy of Hunger, though I’d cut out the first 10 scenes in editing.


I also use the spreadsheet to keep track of my daily word count, my themes, subplots, etc. I color each one once I’ve finished writing them.


Step 5: Writing!

Yes, it’s finally time for me to start writing! While I could, in pure time terms, write up my first four steps in about 6 hours, it usually takes a week or two, as things percolate in my mind. But once I’ve got the scene list down, I write. From scene 1. Now, this doesn’t usually end up being scene 1 in the final draft, but it’s there. Then scene 2, etc. I often move things around a bit, cut a scene, combine, add a scene, sometimes add a whole new subplot while I’m writing, but I’ve got the plan, and it’s my plan, and I’ll change it if I want, so there!

I try to set a minimum each day. 2000 words is normal for me, and I’m pretty good about catching up if I slack off one day. I’m better about writing a couple hundred words extra so if I do slack off, I’ve got cushion. Again, as an accountant, I’m all about the deadlines, so this works for me. One novel, Call of the Morrigan, I simply couldn’t get 2000 words a day out, so I adjusted my minimum to 1000 a day, and that worked fine. That novel fought me tooth and nail, but I finished. The next one (The Enchanted Swans) is working out at 2000 again.

It normally takes me about six weeks to two months to write a 100,000 word novel. As I get near the end, my daily word count increases. I’ve done 10,000 word days before, near the end. It’s like the sprint towards the finish line, no longer a measured marathon.


Step 6: Waiting

Yup! Now we wait. If you go back to edit your first draft right now, your mind moves past the bits that aren’t right, filling in the blanks with the images you have in your mind and haven’t gotten on paper. If you wait, a month, two, even six, your mind is clearer, and you are reading it with fewer preconceptions of how it should be. It is then easier for you to see your holes, your bad grammar, your purple prose, and edit it.


Step 7: Percolating

Like a good wine, stories usually benefit from sitting in your brain. You think of things. You realize that the ending scene would have much more oomph if the cousin comes to kill the evil step-brother, just as the heroine is about to shoot him, so she isn’t accused of murder. Or that the beginning scene should be of a fire in Pittsburgh, not a drawing room in Ohio. You chew on your opening lines, to make sure they have good impact and hook. You decide that the protagonist is TOO good, she needs some flaws and bad habits. I email myself these notes as I think of them, and then add them to notes in the draft itself (I use Word). Then, when I sit down to do edits, they are all there, waiting for my attention.


Step 8: First edit

This is usually when you realize the first three chapters are just story setup, and can be done in flashbacks or recalls. The real action starts in chapter 4. This hurts. Yes, it does. It hurts a lot. Those three chapters were a lot of work, damnit! But it’s worth it, in the end. Read through the whole draft. Subvocalize or read out loud, you will catch more errors. You may move entire parts around, cut out the mushy middle, make the evil twin a greater adversary, all sorts of changes. You may change characters’ names, combine two weak characters into one stronger, more detailed one. You may spend a lot of time with this edit. It’s here that you start taking that lump of clay you created and throw it on the potter’s wheel. You also want to make sure your grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. is all kosher and up to snuff. Here is a great list of self-editing tips!


Step 9: Feedback – Alpha

Alpha readers are gold. Many people call them beta readers, but really, after your first major edit, the folks that read through your manuscript and offer feedback at this stage are alpha readers. They can pick out major plotholes, inconsistencies, unrealistic characters, etc. for you. If you have someone you can go to for this, reward them kindly. Often, other authors will swap with you. AWWC has a great resource thread for readers. DON’T use your friends and family for this. They are too apt to be kind, rather than helpful. You need brutality. You need someone who doesn’t care about your precious feelings, that aren’t here to coddle your child.


Step 10: Adjusting for feedback

Oh, yes, more editing! Listen to your alpha readers. Change the things you agree with. Sometimes it takes a while to realize you agree with them. Sometimes you won’t agree with them, and you leave it in – but note that someone has a problem with it. When you have someone else read it (the more, the better!) if they also have an issue, maybe it is better to change that bit.

You may rearrange everything again. Often alpha readers point out a basic plotline hole, and requires a lot of rewriting. Don’t be afraid – do it! Then do a re-read and make sure everything fits after your rewriting. I go through and do minor edits, too – have the same spaces between scene markers, whittle down words you overuse, make sure my grammar and spelling is fixed again, etc.


Step 11: Feedback – Beta

Beta readers are a little more refining than alpha. The major plotholes should be fixed, but perhaps you’ve moved things around so that there is a time inconsistency that you couldn’t see yourself.

Sometimes an alpha or beta reader will make suggestions to make things better. You may take their advice, or you may not – that is up to you. But if their suggestions makes a huge improvement, let them know how much they’ve helped. In fact, any time someone takes HOURS of their time to help you with your novel, thank them profusely. You may want to acknowledge them in your book, even. Or send a nice gift. Even if you are reciprocating by reading their novel in return, thank them. Even if you don’t agree with their advice, or are hurt by their critique, thank them. And get over it. They are helping!


Step 12: Final edits and read-through

Adjusting for the beta reader suggestions is sort of like the almost final touches on your novel. The final ones are that last read-through. Again, subvocalize or read aloud. Polish it. Make those beautiful touches that make it shine and glitter. Then, and only then, should you consider sending it into your agent, publisher, or editor. Since I have a relationship with my publisher, I send it to her, and she sends it on to the editor.


Step 13: Wait and more editing

The waiting is hard. I shan’t sugarcoat it. Often it’s a couple months before your editor has read through the book and decided if they are willing to take a chance on it. But when they do – there is more work ahead! The editor will send back several rounds of edits. Usually the first is the harshest – lots of changes! Each one after (usually around three rounds) gets easier, until your lump has become a sparkling diamond!


Step 14: Pre-release

During this time you will work with a cover artist, and work on marketing. Your publisher might send you an ARC  (Advanced Reader Copy) of your novel – get that thing out there! Send it to reviewers so you have some reviews when it’s released! Do marketing and promotion NOW. It’s never too early to start the buzz! If your book is available for pre-order, even better – get those people buying!


Step 15: Release

This is it, your big day! Promote and market the HELL out of it. Make sure everyone knows about it. Social media, live signings, anything you can get. Your publisher may do some promotion, but this is YOUR baby. You are the person who benefits most from this, get out there and WORK. Why would you spend months creating a novel, and then do nothing to sell it? It’s like having a child, and release day is the day you are sending it to college. You may not be doing any real work on the novel any longer, but you have to pay for college, and help support your child emotionally while they are learning to live on their own!

Chase reviews. The more reviews you have (at least decent and positive reviews) the more people will buy your book. Also, many promotions require a minimum number of reviews on Amazon to be eligible for their promotion, so court them. Go on a review virtual blog tour. Ask people to review the book. Often!


Step 16: Keep going!

The work doesn’t stop when your novel releases. Keep the buzz going. The best way to sell your novel is to release another one – so have another child. Have eight! The buzz from one will spill onto the other.

It’s a long and arduous process. Most people never even start that novel they always think they should write. Most who do start never finish. Many first drafts are sitting around, waiting to be edited. If you actually complete and edit a novel, you are special. You are wonderful. But the work never actually finishes… it just gets better!


I’ve now written two travel guides and five novels, and am halfway through my sixth. The two travel guides and one novel have been published, and a second novel is submitted for publication. I may not be an expert, but this is how I’ve done it so far. I hope this helps!




For a more extensive treatment of each step, I wrote a series of blog posts: