Several years ago, in another life, my then-boyfriend and I decided to write a novel together.So we did. We brainstormed the main character and her situation, and had long talks about the plot. He wrote a detailed outline; I wrote a rough draft of the novel; we handed it back and forth until we were satisfied. (I do love collaborative writing.)
Then a bunch of things happened.
None of those things involved thinking about this novel, or, at least, not very much.
Eventually, my friend and publisher Jak asked about the novel. “Oh, abandoned,” I told him. “You know, fraught. But it’s really good.”
He asked to read it. And, after a suitable interval (anyone of you who has sold a novel knows what I’m talking about), he made an offer on it.
Then a lot more time went by, and more things happened. (And anyone of you writers knows all about this too!)
But now! Jak has given me editorial feedback on the novel, and has given Our Lady of the Islands a publication date of June 10! And I have a ton of edits to make and get them back to him by the first week in March! At the same time as Mark and I are doing one last burst of innkeeping and then packing up and moving back to Portland!
Jak and I had a long conversation about the novel yesterday, and I’m excited, and a little daunted. It’s been four years: I do remember writing this book, pretty much; but I can also see it with quite a bit of distance. I can see what needs changing–what works, and what doesn’t–in a way I just couldn’t when I wrote it.
And this revision is pretty much on me. My co-author, due to his current overwhelming life circumstances, is not available for much more than occasional consultation. (And, let me be clear, I am totally understanding of that, and happy to do the work. I’m just glad this novel is going to see the light of day.)
So I dove into the edits today, and I am very pleased to report that it’s going to be a MUCH BETTER BOOK when I’m through with it. Due to Jak’s
brilliant feedback, of course…but also, it might be possible that I’m a better writer than I was four years ago.
Oh and Mark is working on the cover. It’s going to be GORGEOUS, you guys. And he’s reading the book–to help with cover design, and, incidentally, to help with my edits. We can do this…we can…we can….