A few people have asked me about what’s happened between signing with Tickety Boo and the book coming out. Has it been frantically busy? What goes on behind the scenes? What can we expect?
It’s an odd time – busy in flurries and then quieter, building times. For me, I had a few things I wanted to achieve before book one came out:
1. Finish book three. It was a draft, with a very unfinished ending when I signed. For me, for confidence, I wanted to be sure I could produce the trilogy I had promised. So I spent last summer finishing the draft of it, and getting it betaed. I also did a tidy up of book one, ready for editing. It had been a wee while since I’d looked at it, and I was glad of the chance to look at it.
2. Build up my blog. I wanted to give something back, to be open about processes and thoughts and fill some of the vacuum of information out there. I also wanted somewhere to out musings and to promote a wee bit in. As it happens, I don’t promote in it – it’s turned into a series of posts, mostly on writing, where I muse and mutter and that works for me. But it has built – lots. Easily 15 times more people read my witterings now than then (and thank you all, and all those who let me guest post, and retweet and share and comment. It means more than you’d imagine, especially on hard days.)
3. Build some local events – they will be coming! Watch out for posts about them but I’ll be doing stuff for World book night, and Comic con, and bits and pieces around and about.
And during that time, Gary worked on not one but two covers and patiently put up with all my ums and ahs and squeals of delight at the space opera-y wonderfulness. Titles were discussed and mused on and discarded and changed. Betas were asked searching questions. Blurbs were written.
I’m now about six weeks away from take-off. In the last six weeks I’ve had the final (I hope) big edit of book one. I knew from my last readthrough the start felt choppy, that it jumped about in time more than I wanted it to (always a difficulty with a book which covers a long time period – in this case about 25 years) but had struggled to find a solution. No scene could easily come out. Teresa, of course, delivered a masterclass on pace – it wasn’t what needed to come out but what needed to go in. All in, the additions added about 15,000 words but make a more satisfying shape, I think. It was a good thing to learn – we get told about hooking readers and I, for one, lack confidence in my skills of immersion. I go pacy and hope to hook whereas, perhaps, I need some time to allow the book to breathe.
So what’s ahead? This is as much a learning curve for me as anything else. I’ll have an edit of my changes and have some tightening and maybe some more changes to make from that. Then, a copyedit. I have no idea how gruelling that will be but grammatically I’m a fairly tight writer, so I hope not too terrifying. And then formatting and proofing and that will be it. My book. Out in the world.