Monday, November 30, 2015


Darrington City is on the verge of total political and economic collapse. Olivia Faraday. the eccentric Deathsniffer, is the only employer willing to consider the resume of impoverished rich boy Christopher Buckley. Soon enough, Olivia and Chris have a grisly murder to solve -- if they can manage before the city is torn apart around them. The Deathsniffer's Assistant combines fantasy and mystery and is available via BookBub for .99c on November 30 and December 1st!

Guest Post by Kate McIntyre on Writing Frustrations, Post Publication

(***silly pictures inserted by yours truly, Ann Noser***)

One of those little things about writers is that we’re never really done.  Right up until the last day before The Deathsniffer’s Assistant went to press, there were little things I wanted to change. I’d suddenly realize I wanted one scene to flow a bit different, or I’d find a place I could foreshadow for the sequel I was working on and slip it in. Like any other artist, writing is the act of tweaking and tweaking and tweaking a base structure until it’s perfect.

Of course, it’s never perfect.

The Deathsniffer’s Assistant is my debut novel. I’ve never had anything I’d written in print before, if you don’t count the writing I did for my town’s quarterly magazine when I was still in school. So I’d never experienced what I felt on July 14th 2015, when I had a great idea for a sequel hook in The Deathsniffer’s Assistant... and it was already in stores.

How are we supposed to handle that?

Nothing is more mortifying than finding typographical or spelling errors in a finished book. But that’s easy to handle. When you spot those, you can get your production team on the line and get them ironed out for updated editions.

No, I’m talking about the other changes. Sometimes when I read a passage I’ve written, I can’t believe I didn’t use this phrase or that word instead. Worse still are the moments when I see how I could take a character arc in this direction, or realize I could really seed some future worldbuilding in that spot for later books.

The feeling takes a lot of getting used to. For the first weeks, it was frustrating beyond words. How could the words I’d written suddenly be off limits to me? They were my words! If I thought of a better way to say them, shouldn’t I be abe to?

But then came a kind of clarity, and the realization that while they’d been my words once, they weren’t anymore.

Now, they’re your words.

Putting your art out there is inviting everyone else to make it theirs. With every new reader who buries themselves in the experiences of Chris and Olivia, those characters become less and less something that’s mine, and more and more something that’s share. I always say that I became a writer because I wanted to “share my stories” with a world who might want to read them.  And part of sharing is letting go of ownership.

Because an artist will always find flaws in their art, we can’t keep going back and “fixing” things. We’ll always see something that could be done better. And that’s what leads to things like George Lucas’s widely reviled Star Wars updates in the 90s! George’s defintion of “better” isn’t any more or less noble than mine.
My book is out there. And people love it. I need to trust those readers, my fans, who tell me how great they thought the book was. The desire to tweak or massage and add or take away just a little bit more is the equivalent of snatching something back that I’ve already shared. “No! It’s not ready yet, give me one second!”

Unforunately, my moment of clarity didn’t fix everything. I still see all those little things (or big things) and feel my fingers twitch. It would be so nice to get back in there with a hacksaw and some shears and do an extreme makeover on those pesky bits and pieces. And every single time I have to remind myself that even if I could, I’d find something new tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day.

So I let it go and love my work for what it is – something I’m very proud of that a whole lot of people really like. All I ever wanted was to share what’s in my head. So I’ll keep working hard not to snatch it back.

Kate McIntyre was born and raised in the frigid white north, having spent her entire life in Moncton, New Brunswick. She learned to appreciate the quintesstial Canadian things: endless winters, self-deprecating jokes, the untamed wilderness, and excessive politeness. Somehow it was the latter that she chose to write about. Kate loves crochet, video games, board games, reading, and listening to bad pop music very loudly.

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