Thursday, November 20, 2008

Crunch Time

Hi Everyone,

I'm delighted to say I've been sticking to my diet and exercise plan and (drum roll, please) have lost 2 pounds. I do miss my old starve yourself for two weeks and it's all over diet, but I'm sticking to the 'have patience and keep it off' plan.

Right now the urge to a) not diet and b) chuck work and go for a nice autumn hack are knocking at the back of my mind, mostly because it's crunch time with my next book coming out December 3. Before I became a published author I thought you wrote the book, sold it to a publisher and voila, people bought it.

Oh, I was so wrong. Writing the book was the easy part. Of course, when I'm writing a book about horses my imagination takes over and it's a joyous adventure unfolding on the pages. This book, NEVER TRUST A MATCHMAKING WITCH, was especially fun to write because I including magic and comedy in the mix. My witch is an accomplished horsewoman whose hobby is matchmaking for her mortal friends and she's very good at it. She's also extremely wealthy and I had a lot of fun creating the barn of my dreams. The horses in NEVER TRUST A MATCHMAKING WITCH live in an equine version of The Ritz.

Now for the hard part. After polishing a book to a gleam and selling it, the next steps is editing. The book you love comes back covered in requests for changes and improvements. When I received this part I had to put it aside for a day until my heart stopped racing at the amount of work I needed to do in a short time span. I got through this phase with much hair pulling and exhaustion and sent it off with the kind of relief I used to feel in college after finals were over.

Ah, peace. Nope, here come the galleys. Now is the time to go through the book, page by page, looking for any little typo, misspelled word, anything at all that is less than perfect. No pressure here, though. This is also where the author prays no larger errors are found, because changing them at this point is a risky move. It has to go into production very soon.

While all this is going on, there's also promotion. In my fantasy world as an unpublished author I thought one went to some book signings and that was about it. In my real world there is a long list of interviews, online chats, and a plethora of other time-consuming activities an author must do to advertise each release.

Still, even with all this, I absolutely love writing fiction, especially fiction about the horse world. I have a genuine affection for the characters, both magical and mortal, in NEVER TRUST A MATCHMAKING WITCH. I hope you enjoy them as well.

Ah, well, the autumn hack will have to wait. I may indulge in a long, hot bubble bath when today is done with a book by one of my Equestrian Ink buddies!



Leslie said...

Mary, I enjoyed a glance into the real world of how things evolve when the book is finished. From the outside, writing a book looks like a piece of cake. As with any work, it's much more than meets the eye.

Congratulations on keeping up with the diet. I like to look at it not as a diet but as a change of habit. Well, right now I have no room to talk but it's great to hear about success!

Will keep an eye out for the new title!

Shanster said...

Congrats on your book being bought! Have fun in the public eye promoting it with talks and interviews and everything else. How cool is that? Even tho' it's work... way, way cool! Way to go! Looks like that bubble bath is gonna be WELL deserved tonight!

Mary Paine said...

Hi Leslie and Shanster,

Thanks for the encouraging words! You are absolutely right - it is cool & I'm having tons of fun! I'll have even more when I'm relaxing in the tub tonight!


Anonymous said...

That is so true, Mary. I well remember the first copy-edited manuscript I got back from the publisher. I couldn't believe it. There were so many suggested changes it boggled my mind. I had to call my one friend who is a successful published author (Laurie R King) and beg for help. She taught me the use of the word "stet" and I never looked back.

I have to admit, though, that after the first five books, I kind of sulled up on the publicity stuff. Those book tours and interviews can get old, especially if you have a family (which I know you do) that misses you when you're gone. So I've become a "bad" author and refuse to do much that takes me out of town. Thank God for the publisher has become content with local signings and internet promotion, thank goodness.

mugwump said...

Good job on the two pounds. I won't weigh until Monday; I have a feeling the week-long flu probably helped. I can only weigh in once a week or I become obsessed.
I'm glad you enjoy the writing many of us sit at our desks staring at our paints, or computers and just put it all off for another day. (Ahem Laura)
Maybe it will inspire some of us to make our deadlines.