• S.E. Reed

Journey to Cover Reveal

This has been a big week for my debut YA novel MY HEART IS HURTING. I launched a book promo trailer, courtesy of my teen daughter (my TikTok maker) and the helpful instructional blog my friend Amy Nielsen wrote. Then, I had a great zoom conference with my amazing editor Brittany at Wild Ink Publishing.


And most importantly, I HAVE A BOOK COVER! Yasssss!!

After years of working on this story– it’s finally taking real shape on its road to publication. So, I thought now might be the perfect time to talk about what my process has looked like up to this point. Maybe my path can help some of you who are trying to find your own journey to a cover reveal.



In a recent author interview, I was asked how I came up with the idea for MY HEART IS HURTING. Well, I was living in South Florida at the time and was surrounded by the ocean, the Everglades, the swampy heat and an eclectic mix of cultures and people. I spent most of my free time with my kids at the pool and listening to music. The idea for Jinny’s story blossomed from those special moments.


Jinny’s character is a collective of the girls and young women I’ve known in my lifetime, including my daughters and myself. Girls who use books as a form of escapism. Girls who score high on tests, but still feel inadequate and scared. Girls with self-esteem/body issues.


From Page 1 to THE END took about 6 weeks. But, writing the book was the easy part. From that first draft to the version you’ll read in print, there have been three years of revisions, edits, querying, more revisions, an agent, leaving an agent, and finally a publisher. Then more revisions, edits and… well, you get the point. There is a lot of work that goes into a manuscript before it gets published.


Now, don’t get me wrong, I have not spent the last three years only working on MY HEART IS HURTING. That would be insanity!


I try to write every day, so when I’ve sent a draft of the book off to an editor or beta-reader or friend and have time for other things, I’ve managed to write two more novels, three partial novels and about twenty short stories. I’ve also been slowly editing the five book fantasy series I wrote BEFORE Jinny’s story and working with a developmental editor on that project.


Whew! It’s a lot when I look at it in a list form instead of just drafts on my computer. But, that’s what you have to do as a writer, keep writing! Keep going, keep drafting and revising. Because without that work, you cannot perfect your craft and improve.


Sure, we’ve all heard the urban legend about a new writer who got an agent with their first query letter and sold the first draft of their manuscript to a Big House in a six-figure deal. We’ve also all heard about people who get struck by lightning and win the lottery.


Being a writer is a commitment to storytelling. And when you are passionate and love the story you are telling, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get there. If you have the desire to put your words out into the world, you will find a way. You will succeed. Which, btw, is the overarching theme in MY HEART IS HURTING.

Let me know what you think of my cover in the comments below and don't forget to check out the TikTok book trailer of my debut novel MY HEART IS HURTING being released by Wild Ink Publishing in July 2023.


xo


S.E. Reed







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