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Thursday, 13 August 2015

Blog Tour Guest Post - The Scribing of Ishitar (Saga) by Carrie F. Shepherd

Fall From Grace
The Scribing of Ishitar (Volume 1)
Author: Carrie F. Shepherd
Genre: LGBT Fantasy
Length: 490 pages
Release Date: May, 2014
ISBN-13: 978-0692023419

Book Description:
Ishitar is born on the cusp of a great war between the two ruling Gods of the Heavens and Hells Realms. With his father in control of a repressive society and his mother fighting for free will for all, he believes the game that they play to be just that: a game. Little does he know that the players that he sees are not necessarily the ones who will influence the outcome.

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Ashes to Ashes
The Scribing of Ishitar (Volume 1)
Author: Carrie F. Shepherd
Genre: LGBT Fantasy
Length: 400 pages
Release Date: June, 2014
ISBN-13: 978-0692023402

Book Description:
Exiled from the Sixty Realms at the end of the Second Revolution, Iykva, one of the demons sent to propagate a new mortal race, longs for equality between his people and those of the exiled angels. Believing the key to this equality lies within the blood of his enemy, he strikes war on the first born of the race of the elves. Caught up in his parents' game to claim the ultimate power, Ishitar dismisses this mortal war as unimportant to his strategy of placing his own pawn upon his father's throne. Will the cost that he eventually pays for his ignorance be worth what little advantage he has gained on the kings' board?

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The Never-Ending Editing Process

As an independent author I took extreme care with the editing process of my first published book, Fall From Grace:  The Scribing of Ishitar (Vol. 1).  I engaged the right people in the process—teachers, beta readers, other authors and, of course, a professional editor.  Each of these individuals had valuable input with regard to my plot line, character evolvement, sentence structure and, of course, proofing the text.  By the time I was finished with eight rounds of corrections and everyone involved gave a pass on the final product, I thought I had a well polished product worthy of standing toe to toe with a professionally published novel.

Imagine my frustration when one of my readers contacted me over simple things that every one of us overlooked at sign off.

For the most part, there wasn’t anything glaring.  A misplaced comma here; a better word that could be used there.  Simple errors that should have been caught but that were entirely overlooked—despite the fact that several people had beaten the book to death through the editing process.

At first I was downhearted.  I had read the book so many times during the initial writing, redrafts and editing process that I was ready to move onto the next volume in the series,  Ashes to Ashes, which, by then, was a quarter of the way completed.  Yet after receiving the valuable feedback of a reader I had never met or talked with before she reached out to me to point these errors out, I knew I had no choice but to put Ashes to Ashes away and concentrate on Fall From Grace.

It took me three more passes before I was satisfied.   Through the first, I found errors that even my reader didn’t catch.  I trudged through and changed what I thought needed to be changed, uploaded a copy to CreateSpace and ordered yet another proof copy just to be sure I hadn’t missed anything during my initial review.  Which, of course, I had.  Although the pages weren’t bleeding with red corrections there were enough that a third round was warranted.  Only after reading the book a third time was I satisfied enough to put the finished product back out on the market.

Discouraged, I decided to take a break from writing for a little while and went to the local bookstore to pick up a title from a well-known author on the bestsellers list—only to find not one, but several, editing errors. And this in a professionally polished novel!

The lesson I learned from this exercise?  Edit, edit, edit until you’re satisfied you’ve caught everyting . . . but be prepared, and willing, to go back a year or two later and read your work again.   Just don’t beat yourself down if you find an error here or there in your finished text.  After all, even the pros can’t always get it right the first time around. 

About the Author
Carrie F. Shepherd grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. Raised outside of the predominating religion, she sought answers of her own. Fascinated by the mythology of the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, she delved into the old stories and meshed them with the new to create a fascinating world of good versus evil.

When not immersed in the world of the Gods, Carrie's full time job is in Regulatory Compliance. During her time off she enjoys hiking on cooler days or, when the weather permits, hanging out with friends and family by the pool.

Carrie now lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado with her fourteen year old daughter, her dogs (Commander Jon Snow and Sir Buns McGee of Bratwurst) and her cat (Blizzardfur).

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