It has been too long! A crazy month has led to this moment where, for mostly therapeutic purposes, I find myself back here writing. I have missed it for sure.
In the meantime, I’ve been doing some exciting things, though, including but not limited to perhaps the best sports experience I’ve ever had in my life: a Stanley Cup Playoff 2nd round series-clinching win at home for the Carolina Hurricanes over the New York Islanders. What a night, especially with Courtney, who you see in my feature photo in this post. It was her first NHL hockey game, which is a lot better than the 0-0 dud against the LA Kings that was my first hockey game back in 2003. It was an amazing memory, one of the many in our future, I am certain.
Needless to say, there has been some fun in the last month, but it’s mostly been a busy time. Happy to be back here on the blog!
I have quite a few updates to share on the book as I prepare for the early fall release of my debut novel, A New Requiem.
For starters, if you’re not already aware…A New Requiem will be available for pre-order in August, and the book will release and be available to read on Tuesday, September 24. I was grateful that a publication I co-founded, The Richmond Observer, was the first to release that information. I can hardly wait for that day…it will be a day that I will never forget and I can’t wait for the world to be able to read this impactful, thrilling story about a small town murder and how it changes the place forever. Readers will be able to pre-order on all major book retail outlets (including but not limited to Amazon and Barnes & Noble) starting in August, and you can keep up to date right here on my web site with the latest.
As far as actually seeing the first printed copy, I am about a month away. The day I put my hands on a printed copy of this novel for the first time will be one of the best days of my life. As I’ve said before, this has probably been the most meaningful goal I have ever set out to do and accomplished; a true bucket-list item, if you will. With that said, I’m looking for about 10 readers to read it before anyone else does, and offer me feedback and a review. If you’re interested, direct message me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter (my handle is @blancejenkins)…I’ll be selecting readers randomly but will only choose from those people who direct messaged me. You’ll receive a free signed copy of the book (your preference of hardback or paperback), and a thank you gift for being so willing to offer feedback to an aspiring debut novelist. So if you’re interested, direct message me as soon as you finish reading this post!
For a guy like me, the hardest part of this journey was the editing process: it’s the only the part I couldn’t control, direct, and complete in the time I desired. Call me a control-freak…I don’t believe I am…but when you spend months on end writing and then suddenly you just have to sit and wait…that’s a task! But it’s complete, and I’m grateful for it.
I first had a former professor of mine from Chowan University read the first and second part of the novel, and I credit him for saving the whole project. Yes, Ken Wolfskill saved A New Requiem.
Dr. Wolfskill agreed to help back in December just before I finished, and I absolutely believe he pointed out the greatest issue in the novel that could have seriously affected its merit and quality. A sincere thank you, Ken (as he asked me to call him now, though it felt so wrong)…you steered this ship in the right direction.
So after he looked at it, I worked it three more times from start to finish to make sure I had fixed the issues he had pointed out. Then, I sent it to my professional editor, Liam Cross, for a complete line edit.
Liam and I spoke a few days ago, and he told me that A New Requiem may be the cleanest manuscript he has ever worked, and so far as quality…he rated it “top 3 for sure” of all the manuscripts he has edited. For a debut novelist who is incredibly anxious about whether or not people will love this story and want to read the book, his words made me feel incredibly better. And he has done an amazing job on the edit, too…if you’re looking for an editor, Liam Cross and his team get my recommendation. He gives unbelievable attention to detail with a goal of making sure your work is in the best shape prior to publishing. Thank you so much, Liam, for the work you’ve done and for the friendship. I look forward to many years of working together!
This week I’m going through the final edits, and it’ll go to the publishing company for a final review in late May. I cannot express how excited I am…I believe A New Requiem tells such a compelling story that I hope will inspire you and many others in so many ways.
One final thing: I got to spend Mother’s Day with my mom this weekend, and I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to do so. Word of advice: spend time with your family. Family is the most important thing to me…nothing will ever supersede it.
Perhaps it won’t take me so long to return and blog again? I most certainly hope not.
I’ll leave you with this line from A New Requiem: