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BLOG: HNSNA & Brook's Manuscript Update

Dear Readers,

After this week's post, I'll be taking a hiatus for a few weeks before heading back to my day-job. Once I get my feet wet there, I'll be posting more author blogs, spotlights, and excerpts, like usual. However, I wanted to update you on my project's progress and also share some highlights from the Historical Novel Society Conference in San Antonio, TX this past June, which was one of the highlights of my summer.

Currently, my work is with my editor, Jenny Q. She is completing the copyedit and should have it back to me by the end of this week. This is good news, because after this, I'll probably just be focusing on simple revisions and edits. It also means that the process of determining the path of publication is very near. I will be trying the traditional path first, which is a lengthy process--6-7 months, actually. As previously stated, there is NOTHING fast about writing a book and getting "pubbed". However, rest assured that I will keep all of you informed once I have a plan in place and know more about how publishing this one will happen. In fact, any of you who have subscribed to my website will be the FIRST to know!

The Historical Novel Society actually began in the U.K. and eventually, enough Americans wanted to participate, so a North American "Conference" was started. Now there is also a Australian/Pacific Conference, as well. This organization of historical fiction authors meets every other year in the US and on the "off-year", a conference is held in Great Britain. This year's American conference was in San Antonio.

Here I am at the right, with my fabulous editor, Jenny Q. Jenny is also the top chairwoman for HNS/NA, and she was one busy woman during the conference. Jenny is a fellow Virginian, and I look forward to the end of July, as we're going to daytrip together to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's stately home, for a day of history and hanging out.

Every HNS Conference is an opportunity to connect with other authors, meet valuable contacts, and even pitch your book to literary agents. Many members are called upon to lead sessions, and this year, I had my first speaking role at HNS, as the reader for a Cold Reads session. Cold Reads is an chance for writers to turn in the first page of their work and those pages are randomly selected for me to read in front of two prominent literary agents. After reading each one, the agents briefly critiqued them.

It's fun to see what period people are writing about--the characters they choose, manner of world-building, etc. I was actually urged to try to begin narrating audiobooks! We'll see!

I also served as a mentor at the Blue Pencil Cafe, which is also a critique session. I met for twenty minutes with three writers who had manuscripts in progress. We discussed the first ten pages of each of their works, and had great chats. As writers, it's soooo integral to have a teachable spirit, because you WILL receive criticism and that's healthy. It's what makes someone a better writer.

Needless to say, in San Antonio I experienced some fine Tex-Mex cuisine and smoked brisket. There were plenty of social hours, which allowed me to meet up with old friends and make new ones.

Here I am with NYT bestselling author, Sarah Penner. We met at the Portland, OR conference, back in 2017, and since then, Sarah's writing career has sky-rocketed! She is the author of The Lost Apothecary, which I had the privilege of reading BEFORE her agent ever did! Sarah is a fun-loving young lady who's just crammed-full of talent. I'm sure she's got plenty of other best-sellers in store.

I wanted to be sure I touched base again with my readers before the end of summer, which is fast approaching. Again, I promise to keep every one of you in the loop about my next book!

Read ON, everybody!!!

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Aug 11, 2023

Brook, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for the close read you did on my manuscript pages as a mentor at HNS. I really appreciated the time you took and the attention you paid to my work! All best, Rebecca Brams

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