Getting On – With Book 2: The difficult second novel…
I’ve let myself get rather behind with these posts, but life has continued apace. If I Should Die was published first in hardback in June 2004, and the Paperback hit the shops on New Year’s Day 2015. But in truth my last sight of it had been in November 2013 when I sent of my final proof corrections. In actual fact I haven’t read it since and never checked whether those final corrections were applied. I assume they were. Too late now. My focus had already shifted to the sequel.
As mentioned in previous posts, I’d been test driving Book2 for years, utilising any period when Book1 was away somewhere being scrutinized. I had a lot of material. Too much in fact. Rather than stretching my writing wings, the first few months working on Book2 felt more akin to gruelling editing than that blissful flow that takes over when you’re in the groove (mixed metaphors apologies). Eventually though, I ordered the work I’d done on the beginning and end, and broke free into the glorious middle. I submitted first draft just in time to spend all Christmas 2014 waiting anxiously for news. January arrived with fluffy praise, carefully wrapped around the inevitable sucker-punch of suggested changes.
(At this point I refer you to Blog 5 and its notes on first drafts. However satisfying it is typing the words THE END, it hardly ever is. But each edit makes your book better, so stay positive.)
It’s been a long dark tunnel, but the light at the end proved not to be a train. The GOOD NEWS is that Book2/Draft2 is in at last, and initial feedback has been very positive indeed. (Hopefully no concealed sucker-punch when the red-pen notes arrive).