Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Space Adventure

This adventure began early this morning. We were picked up by a beautiful compact limousine and whisked off to go get Clay Boyce. You may have heard me talk about my newest endeavor… writing a biography? Well Clay Boyce is the subject of that biography. We met him a couple of years ago and were immediately charmed by this guy. It didn’t take me more than ten minutes to realize his story needed to be told. Trust me, as a rocket scientist from the Apollo era, there’s a lot of stories.
We agreed to meet every Tuesday to put his incredible life in writing. I chose to organize the biography in a storytelling format. The reader will join us at the kitchen table and experience his journey in his own words and my response in mine. We’re going on two years now, and he’s going on ninety. Recently he admitted that his Houston days were probably coming to an end. He was debating whether or not he should go to the RNASA black-tie gala for the last time. With the recent loss of his best friend and wife, he would have to go alone. Naturally, being little Miss Adventure herself, I volunteered to go with him. Joe volunteered to carry the bags.
So here we are on a working vacation. The culmination of all the stories Clay’s tried to explain to me about what it was like to be Aerojet’s Chief Engineer on the Apollo Program. We will tour the Space Center, go to old haunts, have dinner with old friends, and party with astronauts (they won’t notice us, but we’ll be there!).
For now we’re enjoying the experience of traveling on Clay’s coat-tails. He uses a wheelchair at the airport, so Joe and I follow him as he’s taken to the front of every line. 
Because he’s a very, very frequent flyer, he gets all the special treatment like pre-boarding and extended leg room… sweet! We also get free booze during the flight, which doesn’t do us any good on a morning flight, but it’s a nice thought.
So, this blog series is a space adventure and it’s mostly about Clay :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Guest Post: K.S. Mitchell

This is an opportunity for readers to ask questions about our craft. Thanks fellow authors for helping me out! I know you are busy.

Musti asked: Do you pay someone to proofread your work?

Children and YA author, Kimberly Mitchell, responded to this question.
The short answer is no. I've always partnered with other writers in a critique group while I develop my books. Once I hit the stage where the book is ready for beta reading, I ask a few friends. My twin sister has been one of my best beta readers as well. During this process, most of the proofreading gets done. Then I'll do a final version before I send the book out and focus closely on grammar and sentence structure instead of the plot line, trusting that the earlier edits have ironed out the story.

However, I did hire a sensitivity reader to read through a middle grade novel that contains diverse characters. Since one of the characters is black, and I'm not, I wanted to be sure I wasn't falling into stereotypes or presenting the character in any way that might be offensive. I found the reader's feedback valuable and I was able to revise the character accordingly.

If I were to self-publish a book in the future instead of pursuing the more traditional route as I am now, I would definitely hire an editor before I released the book.