"Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes." ~Publishers Weekly review of Eolyn

"The characters are at their best when the events engulfing them are at their worst." ~Publishers Weekly review of High Maga

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Taking Time

photo by Anais Nin, from Women Hold Up Half the Sky

Hay más tiempo que vida.
--Spanish proverb

It has begun.  The third novel, that is.  I'm about 3500 words in, just beginning chapter 2. 

It's been many months since I've written new material for a new project.  The next-to-final draft for High Maga was finished last summer, and I spent the fall refining that manuscript and getting it ready for my editors.  In November, High Maga went out to beta readers, and most of them returned their comments to me by mid-December.  Sometime during the holidays, I sat down to incorporate their edits and shave another 3000 words off the manuscript. 

Now High Maga is done, sitting on editor Eric T. Reynolds virtual desk, waiting for his verdict. (It's already been through one editor at Hadley Rille Books; Eric will be the second.  I have no doubt he will like what he reads, but will he have more edits?  Only time will tell.) 

We've tentatively identified a cover artist, though I'll wait until that's reconfirmed before making any announcements. I expect the cover art to be finished sometime over the summer. Then of course, there will be copy editing and countless other nitpicky tasks (like sending the ARCs out for reviews) that stand between us and the official release date in April 2014. 

And there will be a lot a lot a lot of marketing activity, including several giveaways that we will set up in various venues during the months leading up to the launch. 

I have had so many questions about the release of this second novel, and every time someone asks me "Are you done?  When can I get my copy?" it fills my heart with joy. I am so excited that you are so excited! 

Of course, there's inevitable disappointment every time I say it will be another year before High Maga is released.  It seems such a long time to wait in a world where we've become accustomed to life moving very quickly.  It seems such a long time to wait when every moment of every day, dozens of books are being published that are not High Maga. 

But if you understand something of the traditional publishing route, which is the one I've chosen with the wonderful small press Hadley Rille Books, a year is actually not that long.  And having been through a faster track with Eolyn, where we had about six months between when the manuscript was finalized and when it went to press, I would much rather have a full year to put everything in place and enjoy a successful launch. 

I'm probably a little old fashioned this way, in my attachment to avoiding the frenzied rush whenever it is in my power to do so.  But as I learned during my years in Costa Rica, hay más tiempo que vida.  This is a really tough saying to translate; in English, it makes little sense.  Partly because of the words, but also because our culture is not as adept at decoupling "life" from "time".  Essentially the idea is that time can be 'wasted' because there's an infinite supply of it in the universe.  Life cannot.  So often, enjoying life involves letting go of time.

It's the journey that matters, not the destination is a saying in English that more or less captures the same idea.  I have to remind myself of this often, as a person and a writer.

The journey of publishing a book involves so much more than the release date; it also includes everything leading up to that moment, and everything that comes after it.  Even though Eolyn was released in 2011, the journey of publishing her is far from over.  And now her sister High Maga is about to embark on that same adventure. 

While High Maga prepares her ship to sail, little sister number three is on the way.  I have a feeling she's going to be a spritely companion to her two older siblings.  After giving myself a nice long break from writing, these first couple of chapters are coming with unusual ease.  That's not to say they're perfect -- never perfect in the first draft!  But the words and ideas flow with a sense of security that I don't remember feeling when I first started Eolyn and High Maga. 

I think this is, in part, because I've allowed myself time. Time to do other things, time to mull over ideas, time to enjoy aspects of my life that are not necessarily related to writing. 

Most of all, time to savor the journey.