Jo-Anne Vandermeulen

"Journey to Publication"

Racing to the Finish Line



Wow! Talk about a busy and productive week…and, here I thought the days would drag.

“Conquer All Obstacles” is officially fully edited. (Yipee!!! Bring out the red wine and dark chocolate)

Now talk about fast! My editor, Nancy, had very little to no changes in the final quarter of the manuscript. I must have been on quite a roll. She said that it was not only clean; but also, action packed and one of those reads she just couldn’t put down. Here’s a sample:

(Just so I don’t give away the story, I’ve blotched the characters’ names)

xxxxxxxx moaned. She attempted to lift her chin, but the pain from her neck paralyzed her head to the pillow. Only her eyes moved as she scanned the bedroom in the direction of his eerie laughter.
“Now who’s the boss?” xxxxxxxx rose slowly from the corner chair, wiping the crusted blood from his hands onto the thigh of his faded jeans.
Like acid on steel, she felt his eyes burn holes through her entire body. She slowly curled up into a tight fetal position, much like a caterpillar protecting itself from the snout of a curious dog.
She felt the bed sink behind her. His body pressed tightly against her, molding to her back. His quick breathing heated her scalp with hot exhaled air. She tasted bile rising from her throat and swallowed.
“Oh baby, you know how I love you.” His arm crawled over her shoulder to tighten the hold.
She winced.
“Everything’s going to be okay,” he cooed, as her body shook like a tuning fork. “I’ve got everything under control.”


Reading back through these chapters, I fought many emotions within myself. An author writes what she knows, and in my case, I wrote what I had experienced in my most devastating part of my life…or I should say, near death experience. Rereading the edits, the words flew off the screen and crunched deep within my gut. An awesome read for those who love to escape from reality and jump figuratively into a character’s experience.

Nancy: “Chapter 13 is attached. Talk about drama ... I was on the edge of my seat.”

For me, it was way too real, but more than necessary to get out of my system.

Nancy: “I have to admit that I wondered if you had experienced something similar because it was so REAL. I could feel that you were reliving what you were writing. It hurts my heart that you could have suffered such abuse and trauma at the hands of a monster. You deserve to be treated with love and tenderness and respect. I do believe that trauma and/or a wounded spirit or psyche are responsible for a lot of illnesses.”

Not all experiences or characters from my books come from my life experiences, yet to be honest with you…this character with this unbelievable event was me. A situation that happened nearly a decade ago; yet, seems like only yesterday.

“Conquer All Obstacles” is character driven. These characters’ lives weave through the twists and turns of a dynamic plot that enfolds many issues that results in pure growth. In “Conquer All Obstacles”, each character is faced with their own dilemma while their lives braid within each other, right to an action packed ending that will leave you stunned, yearning to read another. If you want to read a real page turner filled with drama, this book is for you.

Other issues included are: alcoholism, bullying, parenting teenagers, love and betrayal, secret love affair, suspicions testing loyalty, sex, shame and guilt, romance, mentally challenged character, grief, forgiveness, father’s role and responsibilities, waving priorities, bipolar mental illness…oh, gosh…I could go on and on.

Now that the edits are finished, what’s next?

Me: Yet...saying this...I don't mind if you need more time to make sure everything is perfect. I'd rather wait and make sure everything is done right then to have it soon and discover errors when it's too late. (I'm sure you and I are thinking the same way).

I knew Nancy had a planned holiday and she had hoped to have “Conquer All Obstacles” shipped to the publisher before she left. Working on this book for so long, I knew I could wait a tad longer.

Nancy: “It’s looking doubtful that I’m going to get the layout done before I leave. I have so much to do yet, and I don’t want to rush your book through. It deserves my undivided attention. I also want to give it a straight read-through in its completed state. I believe I can get it all done within a week when I get back. Will give you a yell then.”

So I have until mid-September until she returns and completes the layout. That’s okay with me. It’ll give me more time to build my author platform and promote my new release.

The next post, I’m going to share with you my journey as I promote my book. Yes, I’m promoting “Conquer All Obstacles” before it’s published, and there’s endless strategies to create the buzz.

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News Announcement:

Checking my Google Analytics…I wonder who’s winning, the Americans or Canadians?

My largest following to date is…

Looks like I have fans from 14 different countries. Belgium has moved up considerably.

What? Now talk about a turn-of-events! Monday, August 10th it was the Americans that had pulled out ahead…

Wow! Now look at that…the Canadians have taken over and have taken quite a lead. Today, as stands, my largest fans come from…

The Canadians.

The stats show there are more Canadians following me by 13.

Uummm wonder where my largest fan-base will come from next week?


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