Antoinette Needs You

2017 cover lebensborn secrets
Antoinette, the courageous girl pictured above, has secrets. But so does the person telling her WWII story.

According to statistics of the American Library Association, the multitude of fiction available to readers and listeners via every sort of media is so vast today that novels have a life-span of six months.

Antoinette’s story, Lebensborn, was first released in 2010 with this title.   It whisked around the world with a publisher and sold in the U.S. and in countries such a China, India and Australia.  It garnered many reviews, one person in fact calling it the best novel of the year.

It won a gold medal for fiction.  Then, a fellow author said he was beginning a publishing company.  “I’ve always loved your story,” he said.  “I wouldn’t change a word of it.  If you come with me, I believe I can give it the recognition it deserves.”

Due to the time it was taking for him to market his own fiction, he was slow to get in gear and requested to publish a different book in my author’s trunk.  So out came Snowbirds, a little memoir of adventures in a recreational vehicle.

Antoinette’s take could only be found then in audio form and in used book stores.  One friend reported that she saw it listed at for $349.  Why?  Apparently, at that time it was considered “a classic.”

Authors today can choose an editor, a cover artist and an independent publishing company and be on their way with a good-looking product.  Gloria de lost Santos, recently deceased, a Hollywood artist, produced her new cover.  Russ Davis at Gray Dog Press designed the interior and produced the book using a soft-paper material.

The book is now available on Amazon, ACX audio and in local stores.  In order to stay alive though, Antoinette needs folks who will give others their thoughts about her life by sending a review to Amazon, Goodreads, a book blogger, friends.

Antoinette needs friends.   Can you help?









Follow Lebensborn through Production

Momentum Lost & Gained Again


   The driving power, push and energy taking Lebensborn to the next step is stolen by our ten-day trip to Chicago.  An interview for a military collectibles article was put on hold.  Weeks later the necessary information and the writing of the article is again side-tracked by the arrival of spring and outdoor projects.

    A delay has been announced by the publisher.  “Please understand,” says Georgie, “Currently we have been forced to place a hold on new productions for two to three weeks. Please be assured that this is a temporary situation and one that we do implement from time to time so there is nothing to be concerned about.  Your manuscript will go into text block production in two to three weeks at which time I will contact you with the print Manager who will be handling the layout of your book.  If you feel that three weeks has passed and you have not heard from me, please do not hesitate to e-mail me.”

    Georgie finally sends details.

    Ellen Green, press department, and Kira Robbins, art department, send e-mails: “We want to get started on your cover and marketing materials.  Please fill in the attached form.  It is our pleasure to work with you on cover design, including back cover text, and to promote your book when it is ready.”

    E-mailing their form was a nightmare.  Kim wrote, “Looks like everything after the genre question is coming through blank.”  “Okay Kim,” I write back, “What last bit did the computer swallow?”

    They both forward another form, a word attachment.  I breathed a sigh of relief when a fully-completed document went through.  “Got it,” says Kim.  “Thanks for your patience and diligence.” 

     The genres I’ve chosen to list Lebensborn are: fiction/historical, fiction/war & military, and drama/European and Continental.  Another suggested third: fiction/action & adventure if the drama idea isn’t appropriate.

     The large and small synopses of the book were written, along with a lengthy listing of the main characters, fifty or so.

     The writing questions:  motivation for the book, themes of messages, setting.  The questions that concerned writing were fun.  They wanted to know why and when I write, my day job. When did I realize I wanted to be a writer?  They asked about my writing schedule, obstacles to writing, influence of life experience, writer’s block, and inspiration. 

    Where did I grow up?  “In Iowa,” I said, “where the tall corn really does grow and where some natives do get restless and move west.”  To answer where I live now, I said, “I make my home at the base of a mountain in Eastern Washington State five miles from Trail, British Columbia, where my husband and I have created a rustic bed and breakfast called the Lazy Bee.”

     I’ll hear more from the art and press departments.  The really big step is the print-block phase.  No one ever said writing would be an easy career.  Every job has challenges!

My main obstacle: “Living the mountain lifestyle, while at the same time keeping the ranch supplied, cleaned, planted and landscape in pristine condition for possible B&B guests.  I think I’ll find a little cabin by a river and do like Marjorie Kinnen Rallings.  She found a cook/housekeeper and sat on the porch and wrote.

Once the novel is accepted for publication, it progresses through several departments of the publisher. The first department edits the manuscript.

Due to the December holidays and a skeleton staff, I learned that this would not take place until the end of January. That month came and went with no edit in sight. I’d queried the edit department a few times through client/care but no response. So, I did what any anxious writer might do, I contacted Tania in administration and five minutes after I heard back from her, “I’ll see what’s happening,” I received the manuscript for review. Along with the edited manuscript there was copy edit instructions and samples from the Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, as edit authorities.

Long ago I used proofreader’s marks as a medical book editor and at seven newspapers. I wonder if there are new marks. Work to do. I was very excited. How will my editor like the manuscript? Writers are so sensitive to how others view their work. I took one peak at the second book edits. I think I’m going to enjoy this.

In the edit I noticed, she had changed “the girl crept,” to “the girl stepped.” However, to convey the true meaning, I knew I would soon change that to “the girl moved stealthily.” To me, even such a little change means the ms. will be enhanced.

In her edit of the first book, she said in one of her comments, “Underlining is usually a distraction in the regular exposition of a novel. When special examples seem necessary, it will be rendered with italics throughout. Indeed, the clarity and quality of your prose makes this kind of emphasis largely unnecessary.”

Even though the manuscript had been professional edited before, her subtle word suggestions are excellent: sadness and pain ‘shown’ to ‘shone’, stood behind the desk ‘poised like a’ is now ‘stood ‘poised’ behind the desk like, ‘insure’ corrected to ‘ensure’ and ‘to look at his eyes’ better than ‘looking at his eyes.’

Best of all were her suggestions for a love scene. She thought it should be taken to completion so as not to disappoint a reader (it’s the beach scene in the first book if you’re interested). and fleshing out of a magician SS officer’s work during the scene at Himmler’s castle for his officers. Her idea made the chapter sizzle when I wrote a new a paragraph. It’s good. You’ll see. It’s in the first book toward the end.