I Don't Usually Laugh Out LoudAugust 30, 2009
Whew. I'm having a hard time kicking my butt into gear over here. I'm going to perch on the edge of my chair and have a nice chat with you and then maybe you'll pat my cheek at the end and say, Okay, Rach, get on with it, will you?
You know what? I'm happy about Book Two!
Even better, my agent is happy about Book Two!
I know it must be frustrating for some of you who want to get your hands on How To Knit a Love Song but can't until MARCH to hear me kvetch on and on about Book Two, but indulge me a moment more (also, no guarantees, but wouldn't it be fun if I got an advance reader's copy or two that I could do a random drawing for here on the site? Mmmm? That would be fun. Just sayin'. It's never for sure the author will get more than one, I've heard, in which case I'm SO keeping that puppy, but here's hoping.)
But anyway. Back to Book Two. I can't remember what I told you before but the first draft was written as the premise sold to my publisher: a romantic suspense. After I wrote the whole damn book, it turned out to be TOO OBVIOUS. Oh, yeah? That's the Bad Guy? OH REALLY? DUH! I could see that plot twist from the surface of the moon! So I rewrote it. The whole thing. And it was better, but still clunky and kinda dumb. Didn't feel right. I wanted to throw it against the wall and sometimes did.
But now, with my editor's approval to move away from romantic suspense and back into women's fiction and a MAJOR rewrite that almost kil't me, I swear it did, it's good. It's funny and sweet and it's what it wanted to be. I have a few tweaks that I'd like to make today, but the other day, when I took a day off work to read it over and do a final continuity check (because when you've rewritten something that many times, it's important to check you still have the same characters doing the right things in the right places with the right people), it made me laugh out loud in delight a couple of times. And that was a fine, outrageous surprise. I did not expect that from my own writing. At all.
(Strangely, while I'm a HUGE laugh-out-louder in real life, I rarely do while reading or watching TV. I can't explain this. It's just true.)
And I do wonder if I laughed out loud because the world of Cypress Hollow is so rich to me because I've been living in it so deeply for the last six months, or because it was good. But I'm willing to let other people tell me that in the future and just be happy now that it happened.
And only related because Kiersten White is writing about the publishing world, this is a wonderful piece on what it takes to get published. (For those of you who are curious, I submitted queries to thirty-one agents. About half requested partials, and about half of those requested fulls from the partials. That's a pretty high rate of return, and I think it had to do with the market at the time--people were just looking for what I was selling. I was just lucky in that part of it. When Susanna offered representation, I had two other agents who were highly interested. One agent, in fact, missed the boat by a day. BOY, AM I GLAD SHE DID. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it or not, but I have the best agent in the world.)
Okay. I'm getting on with it now. I'm only dragging my heels because once I send it to my editor tomorrow, then it's REALLY out of my hands for a while until she gets back to me with edits. Wait! Why is that bad? That means I'm off camping at Strawberry Music Festival all weekend without a care in the world (except for plotting Book Three, something that I can do under the Yosemite stars, right?).