Before we get into messes: last month I asked about whether or not you preorder books, so I wanted to share the results of that survey with you:
After reviewing these results, I’ve been convinced to give preorders a try. Right now! You can find the link to preorder the first book in my upcoming River Falls series below. But first, I wanted to tell you a little bit about the mess I make of a book before I clean it all up and get it ready to release.
Although I generally draft a book on the computer, I then print it out and make my big, story-level edits by hand. There’s just something about the process of handwriting something that makes my brain look at things differently. There’s also something about being in the throes of editing a book that makes my handwriting—usually neat and orderly—come out looking like someone set a chicken loose with a pen and a doctor’s prescription pad. And not only is my handwriting bad, but then I make things messier by writing new words, only to cross them out, rewrite them, cross them out again, go back to the original and write stet (a proofreading term that stands for “let it stand” and basically means to leave it as it originally was), cross that out, draw an arrow, write some more, run out of room, draw another arrow, make a note to go to page 172 and then back to page 5, where I do more writing, more crossing out, more arrow drawing…you get the picture. And if you don’t, here are a couple of pictures of actual pages from one of my previous manuscripts (I can’t show you the new one yet…you might manage to decipher it and stumble across spoilers!).
It’s a mess, right? But can I be honest with you? I love it. I love when the ideas are coming so fast that my hand can’t keep up with my brain. I love when I see that connection between page 172 and page 5 and figure out how it all fits together. I love when I discover just the scene that needs to be added (or cut, though that’s more painful).
The hard part is then going back in and deciphering my scribbles and scrawl and arrows and additions so that I can type them into the manuscript. Sometimes, I admit that I have to scratch my head for a bit to try to figure out what I meant by a scribble that looks more like an EKG or an arrow that appears to lead in a circle. But I always figure it out in the end. And my stories are always better for it.
Including this one, which is the first book in my new River Falls series. It finally has a title (one that I didn’t figure out until I was in the middle of all those scratches and scribbles): Pieces of Forever.
I can’t wait to share it with you! As soon as I figure out what that one word on page 99 is. It looks like skunk, but that can’t be right…can it?
Do you have neat handwriting, messy handwriting, or handwriting that changes with the situation? When you have the choice, do you prefer to type or handwrite things?
Eight years ago, Ava and Joseph had the perfect future planned—he would go to veterinary school, she would embark on a career with an exclusive modeling agency, and they’d eventually get married and have three dogs and four children. Until a terrible accident changed everything. Unwilling to believe they could still have a future, she made Joseph promise to leave and live out their dreams without her.
Joseph has never broken a promise to Ava. Until now. Because before he made that stupid promise to leave, they’d made each other another promise—one of forever. Now that he’s done with veterinary school, he’s determined to return to River Falls and show her that his promise still stands. That he loves her just the way she is.
But first he’ll have to find a way to crack the safe she’s erected around her heart. Fortunately, he has help: in the form of three lovable dogs, a special group of sick kids, and more than a few slices of pie. But will it be enough to convince Ava that their forever is worth fighting for? Or will he be left picking up the pieces―alone?