Ready for beta readers in August of 2014, Mark held his breath and pressed ‘send’ on what we felt must be the final draft, once again, save typos. One friend provided immediate feedback, bringing welcome relief. Then we waited. And waited. More feedback began to trickle in around October, and Mark was still collecting input in December. Compiling all the comments, he began to recognize a pattern. People wanted more. There were gaps. It felt cut too short in places. Ironically, a few readers suggested it read like a screenplay.
It was now January of 2015 and we were nearly three years into the process. We could see the real writing — the writing on the wall, which said that after three years without a consistent income, our finances were going to run out if we didn’t come up with a plan soon. The dream of a movie was a distant memory, and where would we come up with the energy anyway? We’d only just learned how to write a book. With that skill under our belts, it would make more sense to repeat the process learned than it would to learn the complicated skill of movie production. But it was obvious that books were not instant money-makers, so we knew we couldn’t rely on Goodnight Sunshine to put food on our table.
Here entered Catch Our Drift Productions — a multi-pronged vision of sharing, engaging and inspiring social change. Part of the vision was re-opening FUSE Community Work Hub in Gibsons, which meant several months of preparation, renovation, interviewing, hiring, and generally getting things going. Our interest was piqued for publishing books. Publishing would require a learning curve but we were already in motion with the first product. Earthly Journeys was also already in operation and we were gearing up for a busy summer.
In our spare moments, we kept a focus on completing Mark’s novel — which meant an author photo shoot by Mark Benson, a beautiful painting by Bruce Edwards turned into a stunning book cover by Beth Hawthorn, registering an ISBN number, Mark adding more story back into the story, writing the dedication and acknowledgments, answering an author Q&A, and another round of editing.
Mark put it out to one final beta reader, which sparked a bit more re-writing and editing — at this point we found we were motivated to work on all the little niggly things that we’d previously ignored. There was also the inside layout, ordering and scrutinizing the proof copies, more publishing research, a marketing plan — all in flux and motion simultaneously. WE WERE GETTING CLOSE!
To be continued …