Happy Monday, everyone! I don’t have a real topic for today’s post. In fact, I’m writing it during my lunch break because I was up until 1am revising yesterday. Today? I don’t know. Basically I’m on a personal deadline, the first of which I already missed (March 1), and coming up on an actual deadline (April 1), so we’re kicking it into hyperdrive. I got through 150 pages, about 19 chapters, yesterday, but it was mostly stuff I’d been through before. The second half will be the most work, and the weekend is my deadline, since that’s when I leave for vacation! Woohoo! So pretty much I’m not sleeping this week, which is where this comes in handy:
Last year during spring break I was starting work on some major edits for THE GIRL BEFORE. And now, almost a year later…
I was super stoked to get my ARCs in the mail last week! They’re real! And book-shaped! And they have my name on them!
Saturday I got the opportunity to go down to the local independent bookstore in Des Moines, Beaverdale Books, and meet with the owner, Alice. She is super sweet, and it was the perfect first conversation with a bookseller about my book. I also got to speak with my amazing publicist, Karen, last week, and I realized I have a lot of work to do in order to train myself on the marketing side of this book thing. I’m excited and a little terrified about what comes next, but it’s a good kind of terrified. I think.
I also got to thinking about where I was two years ago. Two years ago, I hadn’t even finished THE GIRL BEFORE. I was writing it in spurts, one scene at a time, feeling like it might be something special, wondering if I was crazy. And probably I was. I broke a lot of “rules” while writing TGB. I went with my gut, told the story the way Clara, the main character, told me it needed to be told.
Two years before that, I was just starting my querying journey. I was still two books away from TGB. Two years of rejection and rewriting and entering contests and finding people who helped me improve my craft.
Two years before that, I began writing my very first novel. I’d stuck to short stories before that (though some of my school teachers would argue with the “short” part…brevity is not my gift). That novel is completely unpublishable, and only a couple people have ever read it, but I still love it because it was my beginning. My origin story. And maybe I’ll harvest some of my favorite parts for a later book. Because it wasn’t all bad.
A lot can change in two years. A lot can change in two months. I guess my point in all of this is the repeated mantra of pretty much every author I’ve ever spoken to:
NEVER GIVE UP.
Who knows what’s right around the corner?