The Writing Process

Maybe I should have called this the publishing process. So many times I’m asked “How long did it take you to write this book?”  Well, I have to tell you that the answer isn’t cut and dried.

I started Saving Gideon in October of 2010. I wrote the series idea, a working synopsis, and a submission synopsis. I wrote the first 50 pages and sent it  to my agent. July of the next year (that would make it 2011) We had a publishing house very interested. My agent said it was time to finish the book. So  I did, but it topped out at only 65 thousand words. I wasn’t worried. Until I got the contract in mid-September and the publishing house wanted the novel to be at least 80K. I  had a little over two weeks to write 15 thousand words. At the time I was working a full time job (44+ hours a week). YIKES!

By some miracle I finished the book, got it to word count and submitted on time. Yay, me!

Then the marketing pages arrived. The forms I had to fill out with pertinent information so that the cover artist could create a realistic and accurate cover. The first pass at a back cover blurb. The discussion questions for the book and interviews.

And then there’s the little matter of the next book in the series. I start it and the  ‘macro-edits’ arrive.

Macro edits–the first time I saw that phrase my heart hit the floor. Macro means big, right? Big changes. Holy cow. What had I  gotten myself into?

Whew! They weren’t as bad as I thought. I had a month to get them ready and sent in. I made it with days to spare.

And I  was finally done, right? Nope. Next came line edits. Line edits are hard. even harder than macro  edits. Why? Because line edits are proof that every word I’ve written is not golden. It’s the stuff that tears down a writer’s fragile ego  and makes us second guess any talent that we may have. It’s hard to see through the changes and know that the book is going to be better for the effort. All I can see is the many marks of “track changes blue”. Anyone who is a veteran of the line edit knows how tough this time is. But it’s almost over. A polished diamond of a book is almost ready.


Almost? How much more can there be? There’s the copy edits. Then the final read, the author’s last chance to make  any changes to the manuscript before it goes to the printer.

And I  take a deep breath. I  sent this last batch of changes in last month. That’s July 2012.

So did it take me two years to write Saving Gideon? Not really. But I worked on it for two years. All the while, working on the second book in the series.

I’m through the line edits with Katie’s Choice. And soon I’ll begin writing text for Gabriel’s Bride. I’m sure while I’m working on Gabriel, I’ll be working on Katie as well. And such is the writing process.


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