Giving Tuesday Match Special: “Please Give”

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to giving to your favorite nonprofit(s). I love this day, and love the focus on charity in a week otherwise dedicated to buying and spending.

In honor of Giving Tuesday, I’m running a special promotion: today only, for every copy of Please Give purchased, I will donate one dollar to DC Central Kitchen, a local community kitchen which trains jobless adults in food prep and service. They hire several of their volunteers for full-time work and train many more for careers in the food service industry. They also provide meals for homeless shelters, schools, and nonprofits. Learn more about DC Central Kitchen here.

Art by Doug Puller
Purchase Please Give on Amazon.

Please Give takes place at a fictional anti-hunger nonprofit in Washington, D.C. It follows Beth Harmon, a 28-year-old woman whose dreams of working for the greater good clash with both her hectic office environment and her own struggles with anxiety. It’s my debut novel, and both a funny and sobering take on what it means to follow your passion into the workforce.

I’ve worked in the nonprofit sector for almost a decade, and I try to give back in both my personal and professional life. If you want to read Please Give — or even if you just want to pick up a copy for charity — now is a great chance to do so. This donation match is only good through today, November 27. Get your copy today!

Cover Reveal: “Without Condition”

My next novel, Without Condition, is set to be released on February 12, 2019. While I’m still putting the final touches on the manuscript, the cover is ready for you now! Take a look:

. Without Condition. Cover Art by Doug Puller
Art by Doug Puller

The cover once again features artwork by the amazing Doug Puller. It shows Cara Vineyard, the protagonist of the novel and someone I’m looking forward to introducing you to come February 12.

Thanks for reading!

 

Out Now: Paperbacks of “Please Give” and “The Crow’s Gift”

I’m happy to announce that both Please Give and The Crow’s Gift are now available to order in paperback!

please give by sonora taylor Art by Doug Puller

Purchase Please Give

Purchase The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales

I’m very excited to offer both books in print. As I mentioned previously, it was something else to be able to hold each book in my hand. If you are a writer and interested in self-publishing, I highly recommend using a print-on-demand service like CreateSpace to create paperback copies. The books both have glossy covers, good-quality paper, and the look of an honest-to-goodness book — because that’s exactly what they are.

I also recommend hiring someone to format your books for paperback if, like me, you are not a graphic designer. Doug Puller formatted both books, and just like he did with the covers and the ebook versions, he did an excellent job.

Both books are available in paperback and as ebooks on Amazon. You can purchase either format of Please Give here and The Crow’s Gift here.

And, if you’ve purchased and read either book (or both books) already, I’d love it if you would please leave an honest review on Amazon or somewhere online (if you post a review somewhere else, please leave me a link in the comments).

Thanks for reading!

Out Now: “Please Give”

I’m happy to announce that my first novel, Please Give, is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

please give by sonora taylor
Cover Art by Doug Puller

“Please Give” takes place in Washington, D.C. It tells the story of 28-year-old Beth Harmon, who has made her professional home at the anti-hunger nonprofit Safety Net following an extended job hunt. When Beth is offered a larger role in Safety Net’s biggest fundraiser of the year, she dives headfirst into the new challenge. But such a dive means working against her own anxieties. As Beth navigates challenges both in and out of the office, she must confront the prospect of losing predictable constants in her life — and must decide which ones she wants to save, and which are worth walking away from. You can read more about the book here.

The book features covert art by Doug Puller, and was edited by Evelyn Duffy. Both of them were vital in bringing the final version together, and I thank them for their work on this.

“Please Give” has come a long way from my original idea that came to me last fall. It’s been a long, eye-opening, and enjoyable process. I’m excited to share the book with all of you, and hope you like it! I also hope you’ll provide an honest review after you’ve read it.

“Please Give” is available to purchase on Kindle and Nook. Thank you for reading!

Cover: Please Give

Over the past month and some change, I’ve been hard at work revising Please Give. I finished my revisions last week, and am almost done with my final reread. It’s really transformed since September 2016, when I wrote the first draft of what would become Chapter 5. I plan to publish the book on Dec. 12, 2017 — so mark your calendars!

While I’m still finishing up the book, the cover is ready; and I’m excited to share it with you below. It once again features amazing artwork from Doug Puller, and I hope you’ll take some time to look at the details he’s included throughout a scene in Beth’s office. Check it out:

please give by sonora taylor
Cover Art by Doug Puller

Once again, the expected release date of Please Give is Dec. 12, 2017. In the meantime, you can check out the book’s new page on the site.

If you want to catch up on Please Give and its progress, you can check out my blog posts on the book.

And, if you want to check out Please Give on Goodreads, you can find it here.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to sharing Please Give with you once it’s finished!

Greetings from Revision Land

I’m still in the depths of revising Please Give. For the past couple weeks, that’s all I’ve worked on. The other projects I’ve begun are all waiting for me — a good thing, because otherwise I won’t finish the current one.

Waiting to work on other things has been an exercise in patience, but the process of revising makes that exercise easier. I’ve enjoyed seeing how the book has changed from when I sent it to my editor to what it looks like now (though I am trying to not read my revisions until I’m done with all of them and can read anew from beginning to end — another exercise in patience). It makes the story feel fresh, new, and most importantly, better.

I hesitate to say it feels complete, because it doesn’t. It doesn’t due to the simple fact that I still have a few chapters left. But more so, it doesn’t feel that way because I don’t know if it will ever feel 100% complete.

Many authors say that a book is done when one accepts that what’s there is enough. I understand that feeling, more so with the book than my short stories. With the short stories, their brevity helped me know when each was done. I have flashes of that with the book. For instance, in the first draft, I intended to write another section after what became the closing line. However, I felt an urge to just stop there once I wrote it. And sure enough, my editor said it was a great closing line.

But there are moments in between the beginning and end where I still wonder if there’s another way to word a scene, or a way to expand a scene further, or even change it a little to set some other pieces in place. Revising the book has been an exercise in knowing when those changes are warranted, and when those changes are just me keeping myself enmeshed in a story I absolutely love writing. It’s crucial to know the difference, because as much fun as it is to write a story, it will feel even better when it’s done.

One of my favorite movies is Wonder Boys. There’s a scene towards the end where Grady’s book-in-progress, a typed 1000+ page tome that he’s spent years working on, goes flying into the wind and the water, lost forever because it was his only copy (a testament to the importance of backing up your files). He’s asked what the story was about, and he says he doesn’t know. He’s asked why he spent so many years writing the story when he didn’t even know the plot. He says, “I couldn’t stop.”

While I have not typed 1000+ pages, nor spent years doing it, nor did so without a plot in mind, I know how that feels — and how that feeling can ultimately be a trap. Don’t let your stories fly into the figurative wind and water under the guise of fine-tuning and making it perfect. Write your story, revise your story, and then complete it — by stopping. There are people out there waiting to read your book who’ll be glad that you did.

Progress Report: Decisions and Revisions

Fall is upon us. Last fall, I got the first idea for what became my first novel. It’s fitting, then, that one year later I’m in the midst of revising it.

I’ve never revised a novel after receiving copy-edits. I of course revised chapters as I wrote the book, and made revisions as I went back and read it from beginning to end. But my revision experience based on edits from my editor has only been with short stories. I can usually go through these in a few hours, and read from beginning to end with ease (and multiple times at that).

Understandably, it’s a different process altogether to try and do this with a novel — and a somewhat long one at that.

It’s an experience, though, that I’m glad to take on. I’m finding a balance between making edits as I think of them, no matter the order they fall in the narrative; and working from beginning to end. I’m in the latter stage now, as I’ve found it’s easier and better for the edits to read from one chapter to the next at this point (though I’ve made notes to myself for later changes to make when I reach where they’ll go in the story).

It’s a longer process than I had with the short stories, but I’m grateful for the length. I’m usually anxious to write it all and write it now. As such, I can sometimes write rather haphazardly. It comes together in final drafts — it calms down, if you will — but for a novel, I need to exercise that patience sooner. I need to write the revisions as a note, and let them settle before putting them into the manuscript. It makes for a calmer process — and one, I hope, that leads to a more rewarding finish.

I still anticipate publishing Please Give by November 28. I’m still writing notes and passages for other projects, but the novel revisions are my focus. There’s time for everything. “In a minute there is time/For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.” (Side note: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is my favorite poem)

I look forward to sharing the book in its finished form with all of you. Thank you for reading!

And as a quick reminder, The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.