Steam Over Stephensport is finished with editing and is now being printed as I write. The final proof should be in my hands this week. It should be avaialble to the public within two weeks. What a relief!
This book was tougher to write but not by its own fault. The story is good. My beta readers loved it! My editor thinks its awesome. It has all the elements that you loved in Bluegrass Blush (Book 1 of the Steam Through Time series). The struggle came because of the timing of this book.
I started writing SOS a full two years ago just after BB was released. At that time, both my father and my father-in-law were sick. My father-in-law passed away that fall and my mother-in-law with alzheimers moved in with us. I quit teaching to stay home and care for her 24/7. Caring for her was far more difficult than people imagine.
After close to a year of her living with us, the disease progressed to where she needed more care than we could give her and she went to a nursing home. That freed me to help my mom care for my dad who had his own terrible medical battle that had gone on for two and half years already. In the early part of 2018, my sweet father went to be with the Lord.
The emotional struggles associated with caring for sick parents and the ensuing grief for losing two great fathers took a toll on me. It has been very hard just raise the kids I have at home. I returned to work a year ago, as well. The issue for SOS was that, even though I continued to write all through this ordeal, it came in fits and starts. At times, long stretches of weeks went by when I couldn’t write which interrupted the creative process. I had to go back and reread my draft to remember where I was.
The finished first draft was a hot mess with disjointed sections, subplots that were tangled, mismatched characters where I had changed their name or their description along the way for various reasons, and holes in the story. Many hours of rewriting and editing smoothed the rough edges to bring out the real story.
I’m excited to soon present to you this second book in the series. I think you will enjoy it. I’m proud of it. Perhaps work born of great trial is infused with great love. After all, I believe that as a writer, my work can only be as good as the depth of my heart. My heart was stretched a great deal over the last two years.
My goal with this series was to bring out the beauty of humanity that has long since been forgotten in the small towns of Kentucky’s history. Characters tell a story of passion and care, persistence and idealism that shaped the future to make us who we are as Kentuckians. I think you will fall in love with Lily and Evan and their story in Stephensport, Kentucky.