Well, my book is getting ready to go into print. I was sent a couple of forms, one for the cover that I have to fill out and the other is for the "book block" which is all the pages in between. I have three pages of things I can list as needs to be changed.
This is how I know my editor hates me.
Throughout the nice email was a scattering of reminders not to edit, not to rewrite and hopefully not to take too long in sending it back.
The truth of the matter is I drag my feet. I was given the contract in August. It was a boilerplate contract, nothing I needed to worry about- but no, I had to get a legal advice and then advice on the lawyers advice. Okay, that done, I sent back an email saying what I wanted changed. Like I'm Stephen fricken King! I'm sure they laughed at my request for 20% more for second party sales and first right refusal for any scripts that are written in case it goes to the screen.
Most new authors are scrambling to the fax machine to send that the contract back before the publisher comes to his senses. No. I took three weeks to hand that baby in.
Then came the cover. Oh boy. It had to be a certain look, that "pick me up or I'll grab you look." They sent me several choices, were wonderful about my nit picky problems. "He's ugly, too skinny, she has the wrong eye color, her shoulders are exposed. I mean, it's Victorian for God sakes, it has to be historically accurate. Again, they were wonderful, indulging my "Can it have more sunset? Can the font be more swirly? After three mock ups, and three "Ah, can I see something else?" from me, they stopped returning my emails and just sent me to approval form.
Okay, I have the cover now we need to edit the book now, right? Edit they asked. That should have been done months ago. So, I edit, and take a month or two, possibly longer before I sent the first perfect "draft" in. My editor broke my then 88,000 word novel into four chapters. Now I have the chance to change whatever I want.
So I did.
I changed names of main characters, added sex scenes and characters and just a pinch of the plot.
That took a month and a half before I had gone through the entire novel. Twice I received a nice email from my editor asking me how I'm doing. "Don't mean to rush you..." Finally, I send it back. Right away my editor sends me the proofs, showing the changes. And once again, I began to edit. Several weeks later they send me the final proof. The entire novel, now 100,024 words, ready to go into e-book submissions.
Where I got the nerve to ask if this can be rushed for Christmas bookstore sales, I'm not sure. I was lucky no one responded. I can only hope their silence meant the email gremlin destroyed it before it was read because they didn't fire me as a client.
Now--my life long dream is about to be realized-I will be a published author, not just of short stories, but a full length historical novel. All my hard work, the long nights away from family and friends, shut up in my office typing one sentence after another, then deleting one sentence after another and then typing again would make it all worthwhile. Strangers will read my words and hopefully if not love them, at least kind of like them. Elizabeth and Eric will live, hopefully making readers smile through their playful banter and hot though their suppressed Victorian sexual desire. It's all about to come true.
Then I begin to edit the FINAL PROOF. I don't know why. I added scenes, dialogue and several hundred words. With pride that my novel is the best it can be, I attach the novel several weeks later and hit send. Nothing.
Several days go by before I receive an email saying I've changed too much, it has to start all over again in the Editing Que. I'll tell ya, I didn't have to be there to hear them scream. My husband yells at me, tells me I might have blown it, and is so upset with me won't talk to me for an hour. Not even when I ask him if there is anything I can do to make him "happy."
In an effort to save something from this budding partnership I quickly dash off an email asking them to forgive me for my nit picking ways, my inability to let go and move onto the next great novel. With a subtle Merry Christmas greeting, I remind them 'tis the season for forgiving the great pain in the asses in their lives, for they no not what they do.
The Christmas spirit must have been with them because my first novel was released to the public two weeks later.
I'm sure someone at Bluewood Publishing, if not my editor, wanted to smack me. Now they're probably cringing to see what I'll change or add this time. Grinding their teeth as they curse my name. Perhaps I should change the title to "Anticipation."