Novel Update #12 – Title Change

Big Name Change!

After taking everyone’s feedback to heart, I’ve changed the name of the book from “Trouble the Water” to “To Rescue a Witch”. My friend, Syd Young, who has an agent and is getting her book “Lady Bird Takes A Train” ready to publish, gave me the suggestion so it can be more marketable. Agents and Publishers need to know which shelf to put your book at the book store, which makes a lot of sense. What do you think of the new title?

Remember to Reflect

Happy New Year eleven days late! I was so crazy getting my manuscript off to beta readers and then incorporating their feedback into my manuscript before the January 9 deadline to get it to the line editor, I had zero chance to reflect on the past year.

I feel like earlier versions of my manuscript were like that too. Characters running at breakneck pace without taking a moment to breath (or give the readers a chance to process… ). 2022 was productive. Some highlights include:

  • Finishing Jerry Jenkins’ Novel Blue Print course
  • Continuing the writers group with The History Quill
  • Getting ProWritingAid set up to check for typos and clarity
  • Learning that I shouldn’t use Scrivener until I know how to not delete the @#$! manuscript accidentally
  • Travelling to Scotland!!! (That was an amazing experience, covid aside.)

    With my daughter Rylee by Loch Ness, near Inverness
  • Getting a structural editing report (looking for major plot holes, issues, etc.)
  • Having a second round of beta readers provide feedback
  • Meeting my deadline to send it off to the line editor by January 9.

I’ll write a future blog post about mistakes I’ve made as a new novelist (so you can avoid them, if you are a writer) and a few things I’ve done right.

Now that the reflection part is done, let’s dive right into…

Goals for 2023

Only two goals for the year but what a huge undertaking!

  1. Get a literary agent
  2. Get my book published

Finding an Agent

Everybody and his brother wrote a book, so “they” say it’s tough to break into the traditional publishing world. I’d be discouraged, but “they” told me the same about landing an agent back when I was a twenty-five year old actress living in New York and wanting to move to Los Angeles.

At the time, I met with Brian O’Neil, a guru who wrote “Acting as A Business”, studied the strategies in his book (and worked on my craft a lot). I think (it was a long time ago) I submitted to six agents, got called in for a meeting with four, and got offers to sign with two, one of whom I signed with and booked an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a Ford commercial before I left acting to pursue real estate. The point being, don’t listen to “they”. Find a guru who offers good advice you can follow to meet your goals, and realize not every agent will want to sign you, but as long as you get one, you can make some money together. (P.S. – that pep talk was as much for me as for you.)

Now I have to do the hard work of researching agencies, finding the right comps for my book (so publishers know how to market it) and writing the dreaded synopsis. Trust me when I tell you converting a 450+ page book into three paragraphs is soul crushing, at least for me. But I’ll figure it out. It’s just a new skillset to be learned.

Getting Published

This time I’m going the traditional route – seeking an agent and one of the major publishing companies to pick it up. My ace in the hole is that I’ve self-published before and I’m a lot more business savvy this time around, so one way or another this book will be published. Let’s hear it for feisty entrepreneurial spirit!

Goals for the Blog

Last year, I generally wrote 1-3 blog posts per month, which seems like a good amount to aim for. It would be fun to have some interviews this year about writing and 18th century history. What are your thoughts? What are you interested in reading over your coffee break?

Hope your new year is off to a great start.

Lisa 😉


Here’s my memoir:

"She's Losing It" by Lisa Traugott Book Cover
Available on Amazon


Copyright (c) Lisa Traugott 2023. All rights reserved.

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