The New Version of What’s In A Name

MOCK UP - Front & SpineWhat’s In A Name has a new book cover. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share with you briefly the reason for that change and some others since the novel was first self-published. Self-publishing has allowed me not only to learn from the mistakes I made during the writing process but also to correct them. I have been keen to take advantage of all these opportunities because they help me improve the work and be better at what I do. But recently I took a new strategy that has resulted in my bringing the narrative and the overall product as close to perfection as I found it within my power to have done. I began by giving the narrative one final copy edit.

According to Amazon, if a book was previously published and the new version contains “significant changes,” then that version should be considered a new edition. Amazon went on to say that “an edition is a particular version of a book.” I want to be honest with you and myself about this book in light of this latest version.

Although I did not hire an editor, I learned to become one, but I did requisition an editorial assessment from an early stage in the writing process. Unfortunately, my initial idea of what it took to write a novel was counter-productive and counterfactual. I came to that conclusion both during the writing process and after the initial publication date in October 2016. As a result, I was able to exploit each opportunity for improvement as it presented itself. I read somewhere that it is in pursuit of the goal of avoiding the pitfalls of editorial mistakes that it is essential to hire an editor. Such mistakes, I inferred, could cost me my credibility. But I had already taken my chances; the die had been cast. Although having written and then edited my own work for publication was counterintuitive, the process was one of esteem-building and my having proved to me that I have what it takes not just to be an editor but my own editor. I had decided on a course of action, and I stuck to that decision despite repeated failures. (That is sisu, which is a Finnish concept that I adhere to, and you can find out a little more about its philosophy in the footer of I have done the work. But please allow me to return to the business of my being honest.

Given my unorthodox editorial decisions and my education path, I decided that I should simply stick with the phrase “a new version” instead of “a new edition.” I thought that the former sounds less formal and more commensurate with the process I followed. I thought that, while my ideals as a writer/storyteller were lofty, the process and my decisions around publication were a means to an end; the novel did morph and made it through several forms.

I have removed its subtitle, “every woman knows her own sorrows,” although that element has not been modified or removed, and the authorship information, including any contributors, has not changed, either. I had thought that I would need a new imprint or ISBN, but I did not.

Ultimately, this new version, by which I mean the latest and final form of the original manuscript, are part and parcel of one common goal: my commitment to learning grammar and the craft of writing and to using this particular story to help me achieve those goals. The “new version” of What’s In A Name is now available, and that version also includes a preface. The preface allowed me to share how the book’s genesis came about, my purpose for having written it, and some insights into who I am.

Here’s to the future and tying it all together and saying thank you.

Garie McIntosh

The Rebirth of A New Author and His First Novel

Book summary

A twelve year-old girl who has been renamed by her dying mother goes silent on the meaning of and the secret behind her new name. Now a woman, she is struggling in her marriage to unsilence herself about the significance of her new name.

Book description

What’s In A Name begins with a silence and gradually unsilence each of the women throughout its pages. As everyone has something that he or she carries with himself or herself, the theme of “every woman knows her own sorrows” is threaded throughout this narrative. From Toronto 1802, when pots and kettles hanging from pegs array the fireplace, to tree-lined avenues in present-day downtown Toronto, to the blue water, the brilliant sky, and the green mountains in Jamaica, these milieus provide the innocuous backdrop for the novel’s compelling subject matter.

In Toronto, Canada, we meet twelve-year-old Christine. She is feeling guilty and punished, even violated. She is in a hospital room alone with her dying mother, from whom Christine is keen to keep a secret. When her mother senses something about her, her dying wish is to rename Christine. Christine accepts her new name and goes by it, but that acceptance comes with the burden of guilt and shame. So Christine remains silent. Now thirty-four years old, she is compelled to confront her past because her marriage of eight years is threatened by her and her husband’s mutual silence.

Christine travels to Jamaica to address the cause of her silence. Encapsulated within the euphoric atmosphere of the island, she meets a woman who calls herself Dell-Dell. The two women have shared a common silence, but the connection between them is even deeper than the silence. The shocking truth of Dell-Dell’s past holds up Christine’s own shocking past to Christine’s future. By the end of her journey to Jamaica, Christine embodies the question that the narrative contemplates in the end: what might a woman’s compromise be if she should face the perpetrator of the crimes against her that Christine herself experienced?

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