• The Author’s Way: An Inside Look Into a First Novel

    Guest Blogger Julie AchteroffGUEST POST: My Writing and Editing Experience


    Julie Achterhoff


                My new book, Quantum Earth, started off as many books do: as a dream. I was hearing a lot about the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012. This intrigued me. I studied up on everything I could about it and found that the Mayans were the first to record time, and that time ended on the winter solstice in the year 2012. There are also other sources talking about the end of the world happening around the same time. The Hopi Prophesies speak of the Blue Star Kachina. There is talk about the poles shifting, too, causing monumental natural disasters.


                I set my book right in the middle of all this. I decided to create a team of metaphysical scientists who were studying this phenomena. They found that there were already tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, etcetera, that were off the charts compared to what had come before. It was like the Earth was preparing for its final death throes.


                I created several very different characters on this team who each brought something fresh and new to the perspective. I created them to be able to argue out several points. The main thing they are trying to find out is if humans are somehow creating what is happening with their thoughts. They are asking; do we create our own reality?


                The two main characters, Hawk and Shauna, have a budding relationship, so there is some sexual tension involved. I love a good love story, and felt that would fit in nicely within the story. There are some pretty hot scenes in this book!


                There is also a character, Noah, who is a trance channeler. The team hosts  large group sessions that aren’t quite what one would normally attend. His job, through his spirit guide Jackson, is to determine the mind-set of the people who have crossed over to find out if they were thinking the world was too far gone and needed to be wiped clean. I decided to make this purposely unclear, so there would still be tension in the story.

                Of course there has to be a bad guy. I made mine particularly nasty. His name is Beckham, and he is the money behind the project. The twist here is that he also has a spirit guide who is very nasty. He had been one of Hitler’s top scientists during his past life.

                When I was finished writing I put the manuscript away for several weeks. Then I went back to it and rewrote a lot of it. I read it over and over again. Then I submitted query letters to every publisher and agent who fit my work. I finally found two who wanted it. I made my choice and had a very good editor who helped me edit and polish until it was gleaming. We must have sent it back and forth ten times! I kept finding things that didn’t ring true.

    In the end I was quite happy with it.



    You can visit Julie’s blog at http://julieachterhoff.blogspot.com/ and purchase Quantum Earth through http://allthingsthatmatterpress.com/.

    Quantun Earth

5 Responsesso far.

  1. Allena says:

    Thanks for guesting with us, Julie. I’m very interested in hearing how you chose your editor, and maybe a little more about that process?

  2. I chose my editor from a choice of two. This was after many, many queries. But it boiled down to two. One was doing e-books, though, and I would only get 15% royalties. The one I went for printed real copies and pays 40% royalties. It was a hard decision only because the e-book publisher really fell in love with my book and I know how important that is.

  3. Heiddi says:

    Hi Allena,

    Thanks for sharing this great post. I can see that writing a book takes a lot of planning and then writing. It is really great to read about the process of it. I’ve been thinking about taking another look at a book that I started when I was in grad school. Thanks for the insipration!


  4. Quantum Earth is also available on amazon.com

  5. It’s never too late to take up your old writing. Of course you’re going to look at it differently than you did way back when, but the essential core of your writing will still be there for you to pick right back up.