The official blog of Susan Landis-Steward, writer of whatever she likes, and co-founder of Puddletown Publishing Group

Posts tagged ‘Blind Leading the Blind’

My Book is OUT!

My first book was part of the first Puddletown Publishing launch. Blind Leading the Blind is the first in a lesbian series about Erik(a), a defrocked detective, and Liz, a blind psychologist. It’s mostly a mystery, but there is romance, a dog, even some discrete sex. It’s also funny. I like neurotic characters, I am a neurotic character, and can’t imagine writing about perfect people. (Even though Erik does believe, at times, that Liz is the World’s Greatest Blind Lady. Don’t worry, she’s not. In fact, she can be a royal pain.) Also features horses, Portland, snow, and did I mention sex?

Anyway, you can buy it from that carousel over there to the right (—->) for $4.99 at Amazon. (once I figure out how to get it back).  As soon as B&N gets it’s act together, you can get it for Nook. Also available at in all sorts of formats..

Other books in the launch, also available ——-> and at Smashwords are Kidnapping the Lorax by Pat Lichen (a real-life Greenpeace pirate) and Volunteer for Glory by Alice Lynn (a Civil War historical romance.) Sanna, Sorceress Apprentice, a middle grade/YA fantasy by Roxanna Matthews, is at Smashwords. Amazon is  having hiccups over it, but it should be there soon.

If you buy any of them, and I hope you do, please leave a review on Amazon or Smashwords. Thanks.


Faking Myself Out

As you may or may not know, I am an editor. I’ve been at this for nigh on 30 years, so I pretty much edit automatically. (Like menus, grocery store signs, reader boards outside porn shops. If someone can write it, I *will* edit it, at least in my mind. If I find it funny, I’ll even take a picture with my mighty phone.)

Except when it comes to my own work. I can’t just read and edit my own work. I’m way too involved and have a love/hate relationship with it. So I’ve had to figure out some ways to approach it that make me detach from it.

I used to edit from the beginning. The first two chapters of my upcoming book have been edited to the point I don’t even know what they say anymore. (Sort of like saying your own name over and over until it starts sounding funny.) The end result? I couldn’t remember how the book ended because I never got there.

Then I tried editing a few chapters at a time. While this seems obvious, again I found myself forgetting about the rest of the book in my quest to polish chapters 11 and 12.

Finally, I sat down and read the whole book in one sitting. Three times. Found lots of plot holes, some copyediting problems, and a few unclassifiable oddities. But I got too involved in the story and missed a lot of stuff. (I know, I wrote it. I should know how it turns out. But I must have some sort of filter that makes me forget. I have this same problem with my editorial work. I can read the same book several times, during several phases of production, and still find new things.) (I prefer to think of it as a filter rather than the natural progression of aging.)

So now I’m editing my book backwards. I’ve used this trick before on short stuff, and on other people’s short work, but I’ve never read a whole book from back to front. It’s an odd experience. But, so far, it seems to be working. Maybe it wouldn’t work if I didn’t know the whole story. And I don’t read it backwards word-by-word. I’m going scene-by-scene. This forces me to look at each scene as a discrete piece of writing. It’s interesting. Sometimes I find myself wondering what comes before!

Anyway, if reading your own book is wearing you down, turn it on its head. You might find it helpful.

30 days, but who’s counting…

Today is one month since Renee LaChance and I sat around at a party talking ebooks. Today, we signed our first contracts with new authors as Puddletown Publishing Group.

Yes, one of those contracts was mine, for my lesbian mystery, “Blind Leading the Blind.” And the other is for our other partner’s YA novel. About two weeks after Renee and I started Puddletown, we dragged another friend (still technically under contract with an agent for another few days . . . hence the secrecy) into the mix, and the 21st century model of publishing, as our third partner. It seemed only fitting that the first be ours. Hell, we didn’t even read them because we helped write them.

It’s been an amazing month. As of right now, I’m not sure how many books we have in the queue. Next week we sign contracts with at least three and possibly five writers. Three are new authors, two are established.

No, this is not vanity press. People who don’t even know mystery partner and me read our books and gave them a thumbs up. But, since it’s our company, and we had books ready to go, and we were signing contracts, why shouldn’t we go first?

Puddletown is establishing a new model in publishing. We are a true publishing company. If you submit a book, we may or may not decide to publish it. We demand good writing, professional-quality editing, and, yes, rewrites. We have two books out for rewrites right now.  We also do all the preparation to bring the book to market, handle distribution in major markets, and market the books. We don’t charge our authors anything. We pay royalties (better than New York’s. A lot better.) The only difference? We don’t kill trees. We are strictly ebooks with a POD option. And we think we’ll be successful. The 30+ great books we have lined up in our first thirty days tell us that.

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