Hi everyone! I’m Emily Ann Putzke, author of It Took a War. I’m honored to be guest posting on The Misadventures of a Globe Trotter in Training! I’m here to talk about the writing, editing, and publishing process of my book. But before that, here’s a little bit about my book.
1861 – Sixteen year old Joe Roberts leads a mundane life as far as he’s concerned. His world spins in the same circle each day: working at his family’s store, taking his sisters on boyish escapades and bickering with his rogue of a cousin, Lucas. Joe can’t understand why his mother allows Lucas to live and work with them after all the pain he caused their family. When war is declared, Joe is quick to join up and become a soldier with the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteers, but war is nothing like he imagined. To make matters worse, he must endure having Lucas in the same regiment. Can Joe put the pain of the past behind him? Forgiveness is easier said than done.
Fall 2012 – I started writing what would eventually become, It Took a War. I think the first idea for it came shortly after a family trip to Gettysburg. I really wanted to write a book about a brother and sister during the Civil War. The first draft was completely different than what it is now, except for Joe and Coralie Roberts. They’ve been breathing on paper for over 2 years. Perhaps that’s why I’m so attached to them! The first draft was originally called While We’re Apart. I put the book away and started working on other projects. I completely forgot about the little book until the beginning of this year.
January 2014 – I went to a musical about Gettysburg and it rekindled my love of Civil War history. It reminded me about my book that I had let sit. So I dusted it off (metaphorically…it was on the computer). It needed a lot of work, but I was excited about it again. I started researching the 11th Pennsylvania, spent hours pouring over books, and immersed myself in Civil War era music. I had to re-write my book since it was originally written in first person, and I wanted it in third-person, so that was a huge job! God must have really wanted to teach me patience and endurance through this, because after a few frustrating re-writes, I finished within four months of pulling it out. It was dubbed The Book That Hath No Name for a long time. The plot had changed drastically but I was happy with it and let my mom read it.
May – August 2014 – Then, I put it away again and started working on another project that consumed me for the entire month of May and part of June. Then summer came and life was busy. By the end of August, I was drawn back to my story. I gave it a proper name and decided to self-publish it.
September and November 2014 – Editing terrified me. Not so much the work involved, but knowing I’d needed to let people actually, you know, read it. Which is funny since I’ve always wanted to be an author. But letting people read my work scares the heck out of me. So I swallowed my pride (or tried to) and asked a few friends and family members to edit it for me. And their suggestions actually didn’t hurt as much as I thought they would. It’s a humbling experience. I mean, you’re literally handing someone your book that you’ve spent countless hours, days, and months working on, then asking them to show you what’s wrong with it. It’s a necessary step toward the publication process, and I knew these people cared about me and wanted my book to be the best it could be. It’s polished up because of them and I’m so grateful!
November and December 2014 – I’ve never published a book before, so I needed a ton of help. I knew I needed a good designer that would make a professional looking cover. I contacted Rachel Rossano and she caught my vision for the cover immediately and created a beauty! I couldn’t be happier! I also hired her to do formatting for the print and kindle version, since that’s something I have no clue about! She was wonderful to work with!
Then I realized that I needed a publishing name. Mine is called The White Rose Press. I came across this name after reading about a German resistance group during WWII called, The White Rose. Hans and Sophie Scholl, who with other university students and their professor, wrote and distributed anti-Nazi leaflets. They were caught and sentenced to death. Their courage for standing up for truth and their faith in God really inspires me. So that’s how The White Rose Press came to be! Also, that’s the subject for my next book.
Now it’s finally done! This whole writing, editing, and publishing process has taught me a big thing. Patience.
I’m so excited to share my book with you all!
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Emily Ann Putzke is a 19 year old Christian, homeschool graduate and history lover. Besides writing historical fiction, she enjoys photography (especially photographing her nieces and nephew), reading, spending time with her family, Civil War reenacting, traveling and a good cup of coffee. She resides in New York State where she drinks in the beautiful autumns and tries to endure the long winters.
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