Light From Uncommon Stars–4/1

Light From Uncommon Stars / Thursday, April 1st, 2021

Wow… this morning I noticed I had about 80 more Twitter followers?! It’s been like surprises like that—in that in different ways these past few months.

To new readers, thank you so much for your openness, your generosity, and your attention. I hope that you enjoy the book. Please I know that I wrote this book with everything I had, and I’m doing everything to make it worth your read.

And thank you to those of you who have been with me through this writing, as well. you’ve been there during those times where I wasn’t sure if this novel would even see the light of day. It’s been an adventure and I’ve drawn strength from all the encouragement and support that you’ve so steadfastly given me . I hope I can chat more about this in other posts.

But ultimately, I’ve been very lucky. And, very affirmed, because everything that I thought would make this novel quirky or unmarketable or “what the heck is that?” was actually what people enjoyed about it. And if that’s true about my words, maybe that means there’s hope for me yet. 🙂

Right now, I’m in what is called “first pass” where I’m looking at the manuscript as it’s typeset. It’s kind of emotional seeing your book laid out this way.  We’re doing things like checking spacing and removing any remaining errors. When the book is in double-spaced manuscript form sometimes things like word repetition and verbal tics aren’t as obvious as in the typeset final form.

So much of the process is new, and (at least to me) really amazing. Again, I’d like to post more on this. The process between large and small press is not quite the same. In fact it’s incredibly different in many places. For example, with my first novel, I very much felt like I was wearing many hats. There’s a thrill in that–it feels so direct and hands-on. But there can be limitations–for example, though there was a designer and proofreader, I couldn’t really trust the proofreader because I had written the book in Hawaiian pidgin. We didn’t have resources to find somebody who understood Hawaiian pidgin so I had to do my best.

But here, I have an incredible editor, Lindsey Hall, supported by Rachel Bass. Jamie Stafford-Hill, the cover designer, did such an excellent job. And, I have the most incredible agent, Meredith Kaffel Simonoff, and her assistant Jacey Mitziga. Together we are “Team Space Koi!” And there’s something really cool about working with so many wonderful (and brilliant) people.

So anyway, that’s all for now. I’m off to go get my second vaccination. And after the fever and chills and nausea and overall hating of life that I assume I’m going to be going through the next 24 hours or so, I’ll be posting again. In the meantime, thank you.  <3 Ryka

PS — After reading this, I just wanted to clarify that all small presses are very different. Diversity is one of the strengths of our small presses, and this was just my particular experience. But for me, the differences in process have been so interesting.  I just want to share!