Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Welcome to the world, little bookie
by Jeaniene Frost
Last week my sixth novel, Eternal Kiss of Darkness, was pushed out into the world. Don’t worry, I’m not going to do that cliché thing and say that my book is my “baby” in this post. A book is not the same thing as a baby. I know this because I’ve seen my two sisters give birth, and while producing a novel is a long, sometimes painful process, there’s (usually) a lot less blood, pain killers, and screaming involved ;-).
Still, a book release is a time of excitement, nervousness, exhilaration, and a few pangs of letting go, too. For the past year and a half (yes, that’s about how it takes from when I start writing a book to when it hits the shelves) these characters and this story was exclusively mine. It started out as an idea about two people that I kept churning around in my head until it became more than a few abstract scene fragments with Mencheres and Kira. Then once I started writing their book, the real growth spurt began. I’ve admitted before to being more of a “pantser” than a plotter, so writing a novel for me consists of about 30% pre-conceived plot and 70% “whoa, I didn’t know that was going to happen! I love you, subconscious. You’re much more interesting than I am!”
By the time I’m done with the novel, I’ve delved far more deeply into existing characters I *thought* I had figured out, plus I’ve met new characters who tease me with interesting glimpses into their pasts, too. Then, once the first draft is completed, I go back and smooth out the spots where I can more clearly see that I’ve gotten off track with the story. Once that’s done, I send it to my critt partner, who is wonderfully blunt in pointing out what’s still off track. After that’s done, it goes to my editor, who will point out yet more ways that I can improve the story. A copyeditor takes her crack at it next, then a managing copyeditor, and finally, back it goes to me for one more set of fine-tuning. Throughout this entire process, the book is still – ultimately – mine. Yet something amazing happens on release day: the book morphs from something that was mine into something that – ultimately – belongs to others.
My little bookie, all grown up, doesn’t need me anymore. My only function at this point is to step back and leave it to the people that it belongs to from now on: readers. I hope you enjoy it, readers, but if you don’t, you won’t catch me screeching “how can you say something bad about mah bay-bee??!” because really, it’s not mine anymore. It’s yours :).
And to celebrate the changing of the guard on Eternal Kiss of Darkness, I’m offering a giveaway. Grand prize, a hardcover edition of the book (if you didn’t know it, EKOD is available in hardcover from Rhapsody Book Club) shipped to anywhere in the world the winner lives. Second prize, two winners will receive the mass market edition of EKOD, also shipped wherever in the world they may live. Winners will be chosen by Randomizer. To enter the contest, simply leave a comment telling me what you enjoy most about reading. Contest opens now and closes on Saturday the 7th at 11:59pm EST.
Posted at 10:35 AM