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About Theresa Nichols Schuster

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Theresa Nichols Schuster is author of "Brittle Silver" and "We Are the Warriors" a 2015 USA Regional Excellence Book Award Finalist. She currently lives in southwest Montana where she appreciates the wonders of nature, family, friends, a bit of pottery.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Seven Years!?

It is with a bit of trepidation I have begun another edit of my young adult novel, We are the Warriors. This time I have the unique advantage of working with a professional editor. My family and friends had assisted often enough, until I think I wore them out. Their assistance over the past seven years of my novel has been very valuable. It was time to get some additional, experienced advice.

So I have my first copy from my editor in hand...Suggestions to cut 9,000 words, reflections on lapses of time or skips in relationship development, corrections as to terminology...all very good.

The challenge is to get creative again about a text I really want to be done with.

Seven years. I keep saying seven, I've worked on this novel, but I'm afraid to go back and count, it may be more...

Three writers conferences, three meetings with literary agents, suggestions to improve, query letters sent out to agents, finally a request for my manuscript from a literary agent at a conference. That was an exciting day! Later, the email back, suggesting changes to improve the novel, and a request to resubmit if I make substantial changes.

Between moving and closing offices for a year, I finally had a new version. I cut characters, dropped scenes, added more dramatic tension, sent it off to the literary agency. No response. No response. Ask for an acknowledgement. No response. Has the publishing industry changed so much that it no longer has basic courtesy when it has an author's manuscript?

So now the question remains, as we work toward a fresh polished copy, whether to continue 'cold' query letters to agents or to self-publish in some fashion. Whatever happens, I intend to have the best novel that I feel I am capable of at that time...and one that is actually finished!