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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Process of Writing a Book

I really want to get back into blogging again so I can keep in touch with everyone and give valuable information if you have dreams of becoming a professional designer. After 10 long months of working on my next book, I'm basically finished and I feel free!

   Yeah! I can breath now and get some much needed sleep. This has not been easy for me. I've had one obstacle after another during the past year and there were times the stress was so intense that I wanted to quit.
But I kept plugging along, taking one day at a time and finally got through it. There is no way I would have finished by my deadline if it had not been for some close friends and a couple other professional designers, stitching up some of the projects for me. They were great and so willing to help when I panicked and needed them. Those who helped (also mentioned in the book) are Renee Huffman, Melody Kelley, Deb Kociszewski (designer and teacher) as well as Renee' Rodgers and Natalia Kononova both professional designers. I say I'm finished with the book, but that's not exactly true. What I'm about to say will give anyone out there wanting to be a designer, a little peak into my life of designing and authoring books. Hopefully you can learn from my experiences.

Even though the whole manuscript has been turned into the publisher and all the finished garments and accessories have been shipped to Loveland, Colorado, where Interweave Press headquarters are located, I will be receiving the manuscript back from the tech editor soon marked up with changes or corrections for me to go over. 
This doesn't necessarily mean my instructions will be off, but the tech editor checks to make sure my math is right (for the larger sizes from xsm-3x) and that I worded the patterns to be easy to understand in the correct crochet language. This is very important. If you're a beginning designer it's imperative that you study the language of crochet, which includes a lot of comas, etc in the right places. Don't be scared. It's really not that difficult at all. Just pay attention to the wording in other patterns and learn where to put those commas, semi-colons, parentheses, hyphens, etc. Write your own pattern and practice with the wording. Then have a friend see if they can understand it. I'm actually known for writing easy instructions and get comments and reviews from crocheters all the time stating that. Of course that makes me happy because one of my goals as a designer is to make crochet easy for everyone. But of course, I had to learn too how to use the right wording.

After I've checked the marked up copy and sent it back to my wonderful editor, Michelle Bredson, they'll put the finishing touches on the book and then it's off to the printer! I hate the fact this book won't be released till next summer (2015). After I'd already signed the contract for the book, and realized it would take that long for it to be published, I asked why, and the book acquisitions editor, Kerry Bogart told me they already had other crochet books coming out this year, but they didn't want to let mine go. There was nothing I could do about it. The designs I came up with for the book are fashionable and should be in trend for 2015 as well. Some of my pieces are timeless, and most can be worn for years to come! More exciting info later!

It always feels fantastic to finish up a book, but one thing I am super excited about is the overall theme and backgrounds for the photo shoot with the models! I've had a dream of a certain theme outdoors for years but my other books had to be photographed in the middle of a freezing cold winter, once even in Wisconsin when the wind chill was -45 degrees! I know that may be hard to believe but I was there! This time the photo shoot was in Denver, Colorado and my editor said it went great! Wish I could have been there but I trust her and the stylist working with the book to make a beautiful finished product. I wish I could tell you the name of my book and what it's all about, but I'll have to wait to get the go-ahead on that from my editor. And as usual, the book will be available on Amazon later and can be ordered in advance to be shipped to you as soon as it's released. The book will also be carried in all the major bookstores, such as Barnes and Noble, Books and Co, Borders, and craft stores such as JoAnns, Michaels, and hopefully Hobby Lobby. I will keep everyone posted as I'm allowed to reveal any info on the book!
Thanks so much for all your support and cheering me on as I've gone through this very fulfilling process! I need a huge break (at least through Christmas), but would you believe I have another great idea for another book? I'm itching to do that too, but it will have to wait!


  1. Congratulations, Mary Jane��! So happy for you! Can't wait to see the book!

    1. Thank you Natalia! The photo shoot went great and they listened to my ideas on the theme, poses and shots. The bag you stitched up for me looks so good and I can't wait for you to see it :) Just wish the release date wasn't so far away .

  2. Great post, Mary Jane. Thanks and congratulations!