There was a time when I didn’t write fiction. I didn’t know I could.
Then came the time when I decided to try it. An experiment: could I write a novel? One that I’d like to read? I’m fairly picky. It’d have to have some humor. Lovable, imperfect characters. Some intrigue. Maybe some science fiction. I’m easily distracted, like my sister who claims to be distracted by shiny stuff. So this imaginary book would have to hold my interest.
Next came the two months required to write the first draft. (Yup. Just two months. That was part of the experimental regimen.)
After that, I had a nice pile of printed pages. It needed a title and a good scrub. There was a time when I didn’t realize that the novels I love took at least a dozen revisions, and that they were edited and proofread by a team of professionals. I thought the author did it all.
When I found out the magic formula for getting my story ready to publish, I looked for my team. I found readers, a critique group, a small press, an agent, another small press, a cover designer, an editor, another editor. The number of people who touched my book before it was ready to publish was astounding. Now I understand better how my favorite books were polished and buffed before they landed in my hands.
There was a pivotal time when I took my book back from the team. Something felt wrong. Too many hands in the pot, molding and changing the story. Too much change, reorganization, loss of voice. That was a challenging time–when I was finally strong enough to recognize that my judgment was vital for this story which was born in my mind. I felt incredible relief to have my book back in my arms.
The next revisions were solo. I cut and reorganized, and found the kernel of my love story. I carved away parts. I worked more on scene order. More revisions followed. Some submissions. Some interest. Some heartache. The story went back to my first readers and then off to the fresh pair of eyes of a new, handpicked editor. And finally, it was done. Ready. To. Hatch.
That’s how I got here, one week before publication of my debut. On 11/11/14, after more than two dozen revisions, Anna and Eddie’s story will be released to the world. It’ll be out of my hands and ready to enter the hearts and thoughts of readers.
[And then what? This author will move on to the next story which is demanding attention. :)]