For months I've been sitting in on the Author's Group at Muse fidgeting away wanting to get in on the promo fun and now I am! I submitted to Muse under a pen name because I wanted Primordial to go through the editorial fire. Of course, after I submitted it, I found a thousand mistakes, isn't it always like that? As an editor, I know I can't edit my own work; it's next to impossible. I'm so thankful to have the editorial team working on Primordial Sun!
I want to share a little about my writing process for a moment because I know I'm not alone here. Last November I started NaNoWriMo with the intention of writing a novel and no clue where to begin. I emailed all my friends asking for prayer, it's rare that I'm clueless when writing. I was mortified. I had a few stray thoughts from a dream and decided to write them down. From there came the entire plot that kept unfolding day by day.
The beauty of NaNoWriMo is you aren't allowed to edit. I had to stuff my internal editor in the fridge, and just write. It proved to be the one thing that allowed me to write my heart out. By the time December rolled around, I had a decent story with some fun characters and a happy ending in mind if not down on paper yet. I put it away until January but got busy with other things so put it away again 'til March when I tremulously tried to edit...long story! I spruced it up and let it sit for a few weeks while I tried to come up with the ending.
By April I was restless in the Author's Group at Muse chiding myself for waiting till then to work. Now I had to coax my frost-bitten internal editor, out of the freezer with hot chocolate, of course, and beg her to fix my book. She obliged and we worked our fingers to the bone typing away on a marathon course while Paul fed the children Elio's, bless his heart.
Even with all that time immersed in the Amazon, there were still many details to research. Finally, finally it was almost ready by the end of the first week of May making me three weeks ahead of my self-imposed schedule. I took one more week to work through any more kinks, let the yeast rise, so to speak, and planned to submit on Monday, the 17th. One thing bothered me, I had no lead in to the second book but envisioned it clearly and even had a title. Monday morning a chapter came to me out of the blue, as they say, thank you God! I wrote it down, inserted it in the appropriate place and it became a decent bridge. Monday night I formatted, no small task, and submitted.
The rest of the week I sat on pins and needles waiting for the editors to look it over knowing the submission pool was full. One read it and accepted. Whew! I was elated but still quite nervous. Then another ante'd in and she accepted, too! In submissions we analyze for plot, characters, writing voice and market. I was sweating, people. I didn't think I could make it through the weekend and editors get busy, we can't always get to new subs right away. Then Friday morning I went through my email one by one instead of overviewing. I almost deleted the one from my boss by accident. Primordial Sun, the Heart of the Amazon was accepted and the contract and paperwork was attached. I put my laptop on the coffee table and burst into tears dancing around the living room. I called Paul and Erica and woke the girls up with the news. Yeah! Then I shouted across the universe!
I don't know which is better, getting it fully written or having it accepted. Two dreams came true in one week. God is wonderful!
Just before submitting I went through a terrible time of doubt. Were my characters too whiney, who cares about these people anyway and what they're doing? Did I put enough location in, was the suspense paced well, should I kill off the main character, on and on. Maybe I shouldn't submit, maybe it wasn't ready. I called Paul who said three words before he hung up. Just do it. So I told myself and all those nagging thoughts, it's a fun read, a little romance, a little mystery and some supernatural stuff to boot, if nothing else, I'd read it.
Primordial Sun, the Heart of the Amazon, book one, is releasing in April 2011 in ebook and sometime later in print. Here's the author page at Facebook so you can keep tabs on it and related happenings and also my author page at MuseItUp Publishing. A contest is underway for December I hear... but the rest, my lips are sealed until it hits the vitual bookstores, except of course for tiny teasers and character posts on the Muse blog!
If you like to write and need some fellowship or direction, send me a note. I write short stories as well and I'm always up for talking shop. I'm preparing a free download soon so check back from time to time. It will have some news about the book, some recipes and flash fiction. If there's anything you'd personally like to see, let me know.
Photo credit: Unknown, taken from a copyright free website whose url is now lost. If this belongs to you, let us know and we'll take it down immediately. Photoshop by Elizabeth McGrath. This is not the official cover for Primordial Sun, the Heart of the Amazon. That will be posted soon by the amazing cover artists at MuseItUp Publishing.