One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

13 February 2024


Alt text for photo above: A wooden sign, sitting on a shelf next to a green wall. The sign reads, “Never, Never Give Up”.

February 13, 2024

If you read my post from February 1, you’ll recall that I had great plans for this month. I was going to overwrite a negative experience from my past by releasing my debut novel on February 27. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. First, the usual updates.


The Way of the Wielder, book three (WIP): I made decent progress in the first week of the month, wrapping up the first four chapters of part two. I took a forced break on the 8th (as I always do on Thursdays), then switched gears.

The Way of the Wielder, book one: I’m halfway complete with a read through of the novel. Before I get into why… on a positive note, I got the final cover, and I’m truly in love with it! The artist did an amazing job, and I’ve already booked her to design the cover for Mysteries of the Material (book two). I’m going to hold off on revealing the cover for The Way of the Wielder for now, though. Which leads me to the why…

The Editing Problem

Back in September, I researched a few recommended editors who have worked on self published novels before. After careful consideration, I chose one who had familiarity with editing fantasy novels (romantic fantasy, at that), and who was friendly and communicative.

At First

She was eager to read my novel. In fact, at one point she emailed me saying how much she enjoyed it and didn’t want it to end. As a new author I was pleased to hear that. It made me feel so good!

When I got the edits back, I was surprised that they were mostly simple changes. Things like changing “the King” to “the king”. She had a few other changes as well, and overall I thought she did a thorough job.

I formatted it, then sent it off to a handful of advanced readers. I didn’t think anything of it—until someone told me they found a few typos. I fixed those without concern, then someone else found others. And someone else asked if I’d had it professionally edited at all.

That didn’t sit well with me, so I decided to do another read through of it, just in case. Maybe my mind was making a bigger deal out of it than it was, and there was no way to know for certain until I read it.

The Final Straw

There are some things I can accept. After all, there are typos in every published book. But as I read, I found several—too many for my liking. And last night, I found something that was most egregious: “Matthew glowered down at him, their five-inch height difference in height starker than ever.”

I had been questioning my editor’s work for several days by this point, but that was the final straw. I sat back with a heavy sigh, and considered how to move forward.

The Way of the Wielder was in the hands of over half a dozen advanced readers, and I was two weeks out from my self-imposed publishing date. I could either complete my read through, making edits as I go (and hope I don’t miss anything), or I could put the release on hold, and seek additional editing services.

Moving Forward

I didn’t want to admit it, but after speaking with my husband, I realized the latter was the better option. I couldn’t, in good faith, let my debut novel be released into the world without another set of eyes first. A professional set, who will read every word, and offer feedback that may be hard to hear, but will make my writing stronger.

I emailed my advanced readers this morning, apologizing for asking them to read a novel that wasn’t edited to my standards. Hopefully they’ll understand, and not think less of me.

It’s easy to say that I shouldn’t feel guilty or be ashamed, but that’s not how my Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) mind works. I take it personally—as an error on my part for not discovering this problem sooner. And it weighs heavily on my heart, to know that I have to go back on my word from not two weeks ago. But it’s for the best.

The Way of the Wielder will not be published on February 27. My hope is to have it ready within a month, but I’m not going to rush it. I don’t want my debut novel to be released with egregious errors. I put my heart and soul into this book, and I want it to be the best it can be.

I appreciate your patience, and hope you’ll understand.

Thanks again for reading. Until next time, be well, and stay creative.