The Publishing Journey
Three hundred plus edits--that's how many items I reviewed after my publisher sent me my novel after round one of edits. Most were minor, such as not indenting the first line of a chapter (that was 41 of the 300+). Commas? Okay, either grammar rules have changed or I didn't learn the correct usage. Accept. Accept. Accept. Then I read one comment from the editor: "this feels like a stark shift in time." Back through the manuscript and my spreadsheet I went, documenting the chapters, dates, and page numbers, to make sure that I had the timeline straight. I added language to make it clearer to the reader. With all edits resolved, it's now back in the hands of the publisher. Reading the novel from start to finish (yet again) has me excited to see it in the hands of readers in January 2024!
Asheville is a character in my novel. With the Civil War a not-so-distant memory, the mountain city longed to leave its past behind and become a face of the New South. Newspaper editor Henry W. Grady coined the term and it was commonly used post-Reconstruction through the early 20th century to advertise the South as open for business. The New South ideology and movement sought to redefine the South as no longer reliant on slavery; reconciled with the Union; and proponents of white supremacy.
Asheville steamed ahead toward its new future when the railroad arrived in 1880. Tourists followed. Many of those tourists suffered from tuberculosis, the leading cause of death in the 19th century. They came for the curative mountain air and to get the latest medical treatment at one of the many sanatoriums that had sprung up in western North Carolina. Have a look below at this medical device on exhibit at the Smith-McDowell House in Asheville -- and thank your lucky stars that medicine has come a long way!