For the last two weeks, I’ve been going over and over and over the manuscript of the new book. My editor is out of the country until the middle of February, and when she comes back, I’ll be forced to pronounce the book done at last and send it in to her. I’ll let you in on a little writerly secret, Dear Reader. This is the only way a book ever gets finished. You simply have to turn it in. If she likes it, and doesn’t have me do TOO many changes to the manuscript, it should be out in January of 2009.
I spent several days writing up the recipes, and another day or two compiling a glossary of oil field terminology, and a couple of days composing historical notes about the Cherokee Strip. Then I had to update the family tree for the front of the book, and write up the dedication and acknowledgments. Now I’m reading the book again from beginning to end, checking for continuity. It takes so long to write a book that by the time you get to the end, the story may have taken quite a turn from the way you thought it would go when you were writing the beginning.
In the meantime, I’ve done some writing on other web sites. Always trying to spread the word. That’s one of the joys of being an author, these days — relentless self-promotion, which is kind of an exquisite torture for a lot of writers. We tend to be an introspecive lot. In fact, over on the Type M For Murder blog (check the “Links” page for the address), we’ve been discussing what each of us five authors do for promotion, and it’s interesting to see that no matter how proficient some of us are (and I don’t include myself), no one seems to enjoy it. We’ve also been talking about our writing techniques, which is quite enlightening. Over the past few years, I’ve talked to many authors who belong to critique groups and love them. If one finds just the right group, it can be incredibly helpful. I prefer to work alone, as do lots of others. Perhaps I’m too easily distracted. It’s really interesting to hear how other authors function, because no two approach the work in the same way.
Betty Webb, author of the Lena Jones mysteries, including the well-received Desert Wives, posted a very nice interview of me on her blog at www.bloggingwebb.blogspot.com. I hope you’ll have a look at it, Dear Reader. Betty has a new Lena Jones book coming out in February called Desert Cut, and judging from what I’ve heard, it has a pretty hair-raising premise. When it comes out, I’m hoping she’ll reciprocate and give me an interview to post on this site.
So, January is about over, all the year-end discombobulation is almost cleared away and the house is reassembled. I am ready to forge ahead. I bought new drapes for the front windows and had my hair returned to the color I was born with, which is dark brown (though I find I miss my streaks). Now if I can only let go of the fourth book! I’ve already started research on book number five.