Steel Goddesses, reborn

I’m sitting alone in my office, Iron Maiden blasting from my phone, courtesy of Spotify. My arms are aching, and with good reason. I’ve spent the past 20 hours engaged in a marathon of writing, editing, and formatting the revised edition of Steel Goddesses. There’s also a new cover (see below).

Several people have asked why I rewrote SG, instead of working on the long-awaited sequel. I have several answers:

1. I know much more about formatting a manuscript than I did in 2009.

2. Self-publishing sites have become more user-friendly, making it easier to publish a book that looks and feels professional.

3. The director of the a film project tied to Steel Goddesses told me the main character needed a back story. He also suggested the novel be republished with a 2016 copyright, to make it more timely. I took both of his suggestions to heart, and added a back story for the main character. Revising the original also gave me the opportunity to correct some mistakes, rewrite some scenes, and undertake a more thorough edit than last time.

I finished the final edits this afternoon and submitted the novel and cover art for review.

Now, I sit here, my head buzzing with anticipation and anxiety. I’m excited about Steel Goddesses’ re-release. I’m also terrified that people will hate it. I know this is a common feeling for the majority of creative people out there. We’re a very sensitive bunch.

When I published the first incarnation of SG in 2009, I was afraid to promote it. Afraid people would hate it. Truth be told, a part of me hated it. Okay, I didn’t really “hate” it, but I was embarrassed by what I had written and didn’t want to claim it as my own. I created the Ann Brandt alter ego and published under her name. I sold maybe a thousand copies (not too shabby), but didn’t promote it. Every time someone emailed or told me they had read it, I wanted to hide my face. I hated Steel Goddesses, and when a male co-worker told me he’d read it, I realized why I hated it. Although my co-worker didn’t make any sly remarks, I was afraid everyone who read the book would think I have a dirty mind. Or worse, I’d done all the things I describe. So, I ignored the novel, and it languished.

The movie project placed Steel Goddesses front and center in my life again. When the director said he wanted a back story for Toni, as well as a 2016 copyright, I knew I had to put my embarrassment behind me and dive back into the world I’d created nearly a decade ago.

So, I held my breath and dove in.

And fell in love again with Toni, Kris, Rusty and the gang. Felt my heart flutter over Marty again. Recoiled at the sleazy antics of Marius Man. Cried over some of the challenges my characters faced. As I made the final edits this morning, I realized I was happy. And proud. I’m anxious, too, but I that’s to be expected. I’m putting the fruits of my imagination out into the world, for better or worse.

This time, however, I won’t shy away from readers who want to discuss Steel Goddesses. I won’t care what they think about what I may or may not have done in my youth, or how much of the novel is based on actual events. Steel Goddesses is my creation, my baby, and I will love and nurture it, and show it proudly to the world. I know there are people who won’t like it, and that’s fine. Our differences make the world go round.

As I sit here in my office, listening to Iron Maiden blasting from my phone, I’m content. And excited to start writing Book 2 of the Steel Goddesses trilogy. Because the girls are clamoring to be heard, and I’m finally ready to listen again.


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