A Novel Adventure

Last week I read somewhere that publishing a book is an adventure. I would argue that the adventure starts before you even put pen to page.

There’s the background reading on plot issues; the meets with experts to establish procedural points. Drawing characters requires people watching, observation of body language and traits that can take days, weeks, months, even years to amass. Even while the first draft is being written there are field trips – I’ll never forget the Sunday afternoon family dog walk where my daughter ran ahead and played with Bollo while hubby and I searched for suitable deposition sites for a body for An Unfamiliar Murder. These are all the experiences that build the tower of paper that later transforms into a novel.

Over the holidays I decided to have a clear out of the desk in my bedroom – a difficult task for any author. I struggled to part with the notes for my first novel and it doesn’t appear to get any easier with the second. The Truth Will Out is now complete and with a professional proofer in readiness for publication and with a mass of notes using up valuable space, I took a deep breath and transferred the pile into the recycling bin.

This collection contains early print outs of text with scribbled edits all over them. I found hand written notes on plotlines, potted histories for characters, basic descriptions, background reading books, ferry tickets from investigative trips, a couple of receipts from lunches with dear friends who provided valuable insight into police procedure and psychological backgrounds, photos of areas from field trips – all little pieces of the journey that you take when you put a novel together. I admit it’s hard to part with them. The book took almost two years to complete and I enjoyed lots of moments that formed wonderful memories along the way.

Strangely I wasn’t left with a clear desk. The research pile for the current work in progress is already gathering height and I look forward to sharing many more treasured memories with it before we reach our destination.

Later this week, I am joined by Debz Hobbs-Wyatt. Debz has dedicated her life to the writing industry and after many years of hard work and four novels written, her debut While No One Was Watching was published by Parthian Press last November. Her experience is truly inspirational and a wonderful way to kick off a new writing year.

Finally, I wrote my first piece for Living the Indie Life magazine this week and shared my recent experiences in deciphering publishing contracts. Click on the link if you wish to read.

Happy 2014 everyone. Whatever you decide to write this year, I wish you every success with each and every project. Let’s make it great!




4 thoughts on “A Novel Adventure

  1. A little while ago I did some work at the Seven Stories archive, looking at Philip Pullman’s original notes for his Ruby in the Smoke stories. The changes he made and the questions he kept asking himself made truly fascinating reading. Since then, I decided not to throw away notes and early drafts, because they’re interesting to future readers. Just a thoughr!! 🙂

    • Hi Bea, Thanks for your comment. Your words are true in so many ways and I’ve certainly struggled with this one, but unfortunately my house is just too small for all these towers of paper so I’m having to be very strict with myself! Maybe I’ll regret it later… Happy new writing year to you:)

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