What to Expect When Publishing Your First Novel

I’m Denise, the creator of Harry the Wonder Cat, and the author of The Legend of the Pink Diamond.  For the next couple of weeks I thought I’d just talk about the steps leading up to that all important publication date and what it feels like when you actually hold that first book in your hand.

One thing that not a lot of my readers know is that all of the cats, with the exception of Harry, are based on the real cats that take care of some of the readers of my Facebook page. As soon as I realized that Harry needed a gang, I opened up auditions on Kitty Tales and a slew of cats came running for the curtain call.  I, being the ultimate cat lady, gave the parts to all of the cats that applied.  So each cat will be named or featured in at least one of the books in the series.

Casting taken care of, you need to write the story.  You should write at least two drafts before sending the manuscript to your editor. I sent the first draft and was sorry I did as, by the time we got to the final draft, the book had changed into a totally different story, which drove my publisher crazy.

I believe you need to have a bond, call it chemestry, with your editor because, after all, you are going to be joined at the hip (figuratively speaking of course, otherwise you wouldn’t get much writing done) for the next few months. I was lucky in that my publisher made sure to “fit” me with another cat lady.  Suze loves Harry almost as much as I did, therefore she handled him with kit gloves.  The result was a book that showcased Harry’s purrsonality, quirks and all.

During the editing phase, which involves a lot of time sending the manuscript back and forth for rewrites, etc., my publisher’s design team was working on that all important cover, again a lot of changing until we all agreed that it was purrfect.  You can judge a book by it’s cover, and Harry’s cover is great!

Meanwhile, I looked for a professional photographer for the picture on the back of the book.  I ended up using it on my profiles for my social media.  Get your face out there!!

Next time I’ll be going over what happens after the editing.  No…the process isn’t not over yet.  It’s only just begun!

The Cat Kingdom

Hi everyone.  Can you believe it’s only a week until my book, Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond , which introduces me and some of the people of Harrot Reef, comes out? You can preorder it at a discounted price on Amazon for this week only.

Now that the big announcement is out of the way, I wanted to take you on a brief tour of the Cat Kingdom.

You need to know that no one actually knows where the Cat Kingdom is. To get there, you need to be escorted by an official messenger of the Cat King.  You simple touch his back, close your eyes and when the official tells you, open them to a brand new world.

The first thing your senses will take in is the scent.  It’s unlike any other you have known in the human realm of existence.   It’s indescribable really, but if one were to try, it’s a cross of cotton candy, chocolate, and the sweet smell of jasmine. 

Then you will notice the glitter everywhere, on the ground, statues of regal cats, even the castle itself.  The sky is raining down these sparkly, golden pieces of tiny substance nonstop, night and day. The next thing you may notice is the sound of sweet, melodious music.  This music has never been heard before and won’t be heard outside of the kingdom. If you are a special guest of the king, you can look up to the sky and see a rainbow shoot an arc over the castle.

Speaking of the castle, it has a gatehouse where two cat guards stand tall to greet you into the castle grounds.  The courtyard is expansive.  It, too, is covered in golden glitter that sparkled in the sunshine.  The colors of the rainbow are brighter than colors are in the human realm. At the castle door there are two more cats to greet you.

Once inside you will find yourself in a great hall surrounded by portraits of the most regal cats that ruled the kingdom hanging on the walls.  At the end of the hall is an extraordinary room with a golden, bejeweled throne in it and a red carpet leading up to it.  This is, of course, where you will find the king.

Well, that’s it.  The Cat Kingdom in a nutshell.  Next week, I’ll give you a tour of Harrot Reef, where I live.  In the meantime don’t forget to preorder your discounted copy of Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond. 

Meet Sir Aslan

Harry here! I wanted to take this time to introduce you to the most important cat in my life…Sir Aslan, otherwise know as my grandfather. Come on out here grandfather.

Sir Aslan:  How are you, Harry my boy?

Harry:  *bows* Just fine, Sir.

Sir Aslan:  *taps Harry on his head* Get up.  Today I speak to you as your grandfather and not as a knight.

Harry:  *straightens up and clears his throat* Yes Grandfather.  Well, I’m sure that my audience would like to know a little bit about you.

Sir Aslan:  Like?

Harry:  Like how did you receive your knighthood?

Sir Aslan:  *sighs* Well, as you know, I saved the Cat Princess from drowning.  The Cat King was so appreciative that he granted me a knighthood.

Harry:  How long has it been since you became a knight?

Sir Aslan:  *looks to the heavens obviously thinking* Well, it must be about seven…no eight centuries now.

Harry:  Wow! *shakes his heads in amazement*  One final question.  What was your proudest moment?

Sir Aslan:  *beams* That’s easy, Harry.  The moment I that you became a knight, too!

Harry:  *blushes and bows his head in embarrassment* Thank you, Grandfather.

Sir Aslan: *taps Harry’s head* Anytime,  my boy!  Anytime! *turns and marches out of sight*

Harry: *sighs as he watches the Great Sir Aslan retreat in silence*  Well, there you have it, my grandfather, Sir Aslan.  Read about him and the rest of the magnificent cats and their humans in Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond .  Preorder yours now at Amazon.

Harry:  Next week, please join us for a tour of the Cat Kingdom.

Harry at Home

As I promised last week, I am going to give you a peek at my home life in Harrot Reef Manor.  The manor house is a huge yellow Victorian with white gingerbread.  It has hardwood floors in some rooms that are so slippery that, if I run fast enough and then lean just right, I can slide right into the next room.  I love this game because it makes my charge, Nikki, and our roommate, Heather, laugh.

The most important cupboard in the house is the “The Magic Cupboard”.  This is where my food and treats are kept.   All I have to do is sit in front of it and stare at Nikki, and she will feed me.  Of course, if that doesn’t work I can always use my magical powers (as long as nobody’s around)!

In the afternoon, Heather gets my brush out and calls, “Brush, Harry, brush”.  I know then that she will brush my long, luxurious fur and I will trill and purr.  When she is done I head-butt her hand and rub my cheek against hers.

I  can hardly wait until after dinner when I hear Nikki pick up the latest Agatha Christie mystery that we are reading together. She calls me to the living room where we share the purple chair that is soft and cuddly. The crackling of the fire in the fireplace is soothing as I listen intently to the sound of Nikki’s voice reading just for me.

Well, that’s an average day in my life at Harrot Reef Manor.  I hope that you’ll come to visit us soon.

Next week:  Please join us for an interview with Sir Aslan, Harry’s grandfather.

Don’t forget to order your copy of Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond.

Basic Witch: Witches of Salem (Gemma Bradbury Magical Cozy Mysteries Book 1) by Harmony Hart

“Basic Witch” is a delightful Cozy Mystery about a girl, Gemma Bradbury, and her cat, Titus, who fall into a magical world which is inhabited by creatures of fairy tales and folk lore. Gemma finds out through the Witch’s Coven that, not only is she stuck in this strange place, but she’s a witch and Titus is her familiar. If that’s not enough, she is accused of murder by an oaf of an detective. While she’s learning how to use her new skills she, along with her new friends (who are great characters, by the way), try to clear her name.

Ms. Hart has a style and imagination to be envied by other writers of the genre. I truly enjoyed this, sometimes laughing right out loud. I gave this book 5 stars and I can’t wait to read Book 2 of the series.