The fifth of five pieces on the writing/publication process.

The Publishing Process - In my case writing means going into my bedroom, shutting the door, and trying to think of something interesting to say. Often it doesn't go any further than that. Like most writers, I'm an introvert.

But the publishing process is anything but introverted. I found myself thrust into a completely different world. I had to interface with proofreaders, copyeditors, illustrators, editors on tight deadlines. To be honest, I enjoyed it. But it was different.

Probably the hardest thing for me to deal with was how long it all took, about 15 months, which I later learned is about normal, but seemed so long at the time!

I learned about the mechanics of eBooks, paperbacks, proofs, ISBN numbers, distribution channels, and don't get me started on marketing (lining up pre-publication reviews, sending books out for possible review in Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, scifi journals ..., getting quotes for the back cover, approving layouts.)

At one point my editor asked if I had any ideas for the cover. I said, "I don't know, an image from one of the stories, I suppose, say 'The Bridge,' with the narrator sinking into the river, his lantern held before him, or perhaps 'A Betrayal,' with the narrator walking down a lonely country road...."

They contacted a woman from Melbourne Australia named Kim Dingwall and a couple of months later sent me five mockups she had done. They were all images from various stories. I picked this picture because I loved the ominous, lonely feeling it had--and blue is my favorite color!

At one point I said, it would be really cool if I could illustrate the pieces, say a pen-and-ink style illustration for each story. I was shocked when they said yes. The illustrations in the book are from photographs I turned into pen-and-ink-like drawings using Gimp.