On Sunday, October 7, at a little after noon, I hit the button and sent the manuscript for Graveyard Bay to my editor, Annette Powers, at Poisoned Pen Press. I did it with trepidation and relief.
Trepidation because when you’ve just spent nearly a year on a project, you don’t really know if it’s any good until someone reads it.
Relief, because it’s done.
Plus this had some curves thrown into it. One was a curveball I created for myself. At the end of the second Geneva Chase mystery, Darkness Lane, I left the book with a bit of a cliffhanger. Everyone who’s read the book has asked me what happens next. That’s a good thing because there’s a desire to read the next novel. There’s also an expectation that it better be damned good.
The other curveball was Hurricane Florence. I knew I wanted to get the manuscript done by the end of September or sooner. And I was on track, right up until 105 mile per hour winds and nearly thirty inches of rain over the course of several days halted me in my tracks. Power was out for four days. Internet, phones, and cable were out for 8 days. And we were the lucky ones. The storm hit on September 12 and there are still people without power.
And there are people without homes. Lots of them. Houses were destroyed by a combination of the high winds, falling trees, torrential rains, flooding rivers, and storm surge. Whole apartment and condominium buildings are being condemned because of rain damage and the treacherous mold growth. Because of the damage sustained during the storm, most hotels in the area are closed.
Getting the area back on its feet is a full time effort.
So, Graveyard Bay had to take a backseat for about three weeks. But now the manuscript is done. But not the process. Now both my editor and publisher will be reading the book and sending me their thoughts and suggestions. As the writer, I can act on those suggestions or not.
However, both my editor and publisher have been in this business for a long time and I respect them and I listen hard when they offer their ideas. Their advice has always made my books stronger and more exciting.
Once the revisions have been made and everyone is happy with the product, it goes to a copy editor who checks the book for typos and continuity errors.
Will there be a typo or two in the finished product when it’s printed? Of course. You can’t have a book of 80,000 words without one or two typos.
The point of this rambling blog? Perception.
Getting the manuscript, a year in the making, is a big deal. Hell, the book is already available on Amazon for pre-order and it hasn’t been edited yet.
But getting Eastern North Carolina back on its feet is an even bigger deal. I count my blessings that we survived on our island with minimal damage when so many others inland took such a big hit.
Check out Type M for Murder blog for more posts like this.