I know, I know. It's May 1st (shortly going on May 2nd) and here I am writing about a release day that happened on April 21st. But I'm a one woman show. Please forgive me.
On release day I made the Bestseller's list in three categories on Amazon. If you saw my IG, you know I made #3 and #5 at the same time that day in BDSM erotica which I was thrilled about. I considered this book my warm up into publishing again and while I did hope, I did not expect this to happen so quickly.
Something like this does not happen without help though. You can't publish a book without help--it's not possible. I had plenty.
I want to say thank you to everyone. Literally everyone. I want to tell you a little about who helped me.
Without my editor, the book would have been awkward. I can admit it. I can write a story and it's legible but I need a good writing iron, and that's my editor on any book. She shall remain nameless by request, but in the copyright section she is known as Augusta Mallard (an alter name). I told of my editor-woes in a previous post. That was not the case with Augusta. She made helpful suggestions. There were several places I was trying to say something important I didn't have quite right or clear enough. Augusta pointed them out and gave other ideas as to how to say what I wanted in a better way. She's familiar with the spanking genre and knew all the nuances. The editing experience was so much better this time. I feel like I became a better writer with her guidance.
Susan was impeccable. And as I mentioned, a Supernatural fan which I did not know when I hired her, but was pleased to discover. I feel like this makes her an instant part of the Mock family. Proofing is the 2nd to last step in my process before the final formatting. I loved how polished the book was after she was done with it. I have already sought her services for Tristan II. She has him right now!
Inner Book Artist
Many of you have already seen Artsy Ape around. She did all the art for my favoured Dragon Tamer story---art I was just looking at the other day in fact. I look at it often. Now that the book is published, I will post all art in the gallery to view on this site. Her art made the book more magical. She's the reason Will has a cowboy hat. She's solely responsible for more Max. And OMG, she drew Ani! When I saw him drawn I cried. I love Ani so much and she captured his essence perfectly, like she could see in my head. If you wanna see all of her art, go over to the Gallery.
The Cover Art was done by Nadia Polyakova. She didn't have much to go off of from me other than, "Basically Xavier is Henry Cavill, but not Henry Cavill so he doesn't sue me!" and a couple of pictures of "Finn" I'd found as muses. What was she supposed to do with that? Yet, somehow, she came up with two men who looked just like the essence of how I feel them. I am a highly feeling being. I talk in feel. I hear in feel. Everything is either by my sixth sense or "the feel" of it. When I saw the cover she made for me, it felt like Finn and Xavier, just like Artsy Ape's incantations did even though they have very different styles. I love the cover and always will.
Cover Art Design
Sometimes when you use Fiverr it doesn't work out so well (like with my book trailer--that's a whole story I'll tell sometime) and other times you meet Chiara Monaco. I am so grateful for this woman you have no idea. She takes the cover art I give her and makes me the most beautiful print covers and Kindle Cover Pages. She always blows me away and I'm so glad I found her. She's the greatest.
I had seven beta readers for this book. All of them contributed in some way and even if I didn't directly use one of their suggestions, I still used that suggestion to shape what I would change or not. Three major scenes were added to this book because of beta reader suggestions. Richer descriptions, more Will, more Osh and of course, more spanking! I love that I have to say to whatever editor I'm working with that, "I know, I KNOW there's a ton of spanking in this book already but I promise you it won't be enough. It's never enough." This has proved true for both Xavier's School and Tristan II. You can thank the beta readers for the extra spanking (though yes I know, it's still not enough).
What did you even do Mock?
With all of these wonderful women helping me, what did that leave for me do to other than spit out some words? Well I'll tell you. Here is my process.
I wrote the book in 2 weeks, start to finish. Originally, it was just over 60K. Before it went to the professional editor, I took it through 5 layers of edits. The first was for flow. The second for holes and the "hard" scenes I'd left for later. The third for line edits. The fourth for axing unnecessary stuff. The fifth to clean up anything left over and add some magic to it. Then it was sent to Augusta. Once she was done, I went through it another 2 times to incorporate her edits and get it ready for the beta readers. Once the beta readers were done, I looked over all their feedback and worked it into the manuscript. When I was done that, it got passed to Susan who did the final polish. I then went in again to incorporate her edits and over it another time to make sure nothing was awry. Even after all this, there can still be errors but it should be readable, and pretty darn neat and tidy by this point.
Finally, I formatted the book. This required creating title pages in photoshop (which I had to learn how to use), placing all the inner book art with tags to credit the artist, writing the copyright, dedication, disclaimer, and Author's Note, etc... Artsy Ape created all the art for the Glossary of implements and I put it together in photoshop.
After all this, I then uploaded to KDP which takes time and effort too as there are a few steps.
And of course marketing and all the write ups on characters! Phew.
Hence, Mock was tired. Hence it's now May 2nd and I'm finally writing this.
Thank you to each and every reader for buying a book. Thank you for leaving reviews. Thank you for all the DMs that day and notes that day. All of it made the blood, sweat and tears worth It.
Thank you most of all to Finn for letting me tell his story. He's got more to tell and so do some of the other boys from the Xavier's School Universe. I've got the second book started.
I will leave you with Finn. You will have seen this on my IG already. This is fan art done by Sparkle who has more art if you go to her IG which is HERE.
Have you ever read a little book called, The Outsiders? It's still one of my fave books of all time (and YES I'm 100% writing an SPN fanfic version of The Outsiders soon as it comes to me) and there's a line that goes like this:
“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight, from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home...” ~ S.E. Hinton
Finn reminds me of Ponyboy in this scene for some reason and one of the reasons this art piece means so much to me is because it captures the essence of that and Finn taking the first step on his new journey. Sparkle was feeling Finn's first step when she drew this (she said) and that she could feel this from Finn was huge to me. It's what I was trying to create, but like, with spanking!
Ta Ta for now!
FINN by Sparkle