where the writers are
Behind the Book -- Letting the Manuscript Go
Saying goodbye to the book

Last Monday, I received the last of my editor’s notes on Velva Jean #3 (in which she finds herself spying in World War II), and, at my editor’s request, I have addressed her notes, big and small (cutting 26 pages in the process), and delivered the edited manuscript back to her by this morning. It was, as my mom likes to say, a creative miracle. Or maybe a Christmas miracle, I’m not sure. In either case, it’s off my desk for now and back in the hands of my publisher. The next step in the process will be copy editing which, thankfully, I won’t have to face until January.

When I first handed the book in, back in September, I experienced the same postpartum feelings I’d experienced with every other book: the worry (What if my editor hates it?), the listlessness (What will I do with myself now?), the exhaustion (How many months has it been since I slept?), the anxiety (What if no one wants to read it?), the feeling of loss and being lost and feeling purposeless after living, breathing, and sleeping the book for months and months, even though there was so much work stacked up and waiting.

This time around it’s easier. By this point– especially when you have such a fast turnaround time, as I did this past week– you’re pretty happy to see the manuscript go. You think: Thank God it’s on her desk and not mine! Thank God I don’t have to edit five more seconds right now. Thank God I have a break from it again!

Part of that is due to the fact that, creatively (mentally, emotionally, etc.), I’m ready for the next project. Part of it is due to the frenzied, frantic pace of meeting this deadline. And part of it is because, deep down, I feel it’s a good book. A really good book, and I feel good about sending it out into the world. Or, at least, to my editor again.

So now it’s time to go back to researching and outlining the fourth Velva Jean and, of course, to enjoy the fact that my mom is here from North Carolina and there is much merry-making (and gift wrapping and last-minute shopping and holiday partying) to be done. Bring on the Christmas cocktails!

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Congratulations on your well deserved break. Thank you for sharing the process with us-- it's both inspiring and informative. Happy holidays! 

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Thank you!

Thanks for the congrats!  I'm glad you're enjoying the sharing of the process.  As I'm going along with the book(s), it's really helpful for me to get to talk about it (and, when needed, vent about it!).  I so appreciate the company on the journey.  Happy holidays to you!