Dearly, Beloved – It’s Off!
Today I finished the first pass proofs (I still call them galleys, but I’m weird that way – I think I just prefer the vaguely piratical word), and tomorrow they’ll get a final once-over and then be conveyed via bike to the post office, because I’m thirty years old and I still don’t drive. (Ray Bradbury is my hero in more ways than one.) This is basically the last thing I have to do before the sequel to Dearly, Departed emerges on September 25th.
Sending off a book to be published is a little weird, for me. I’ve done it twice, now, and I can honestly say that my emotions have been the same both times. I’m afraid I just don’t get excited at this stage, all teary-eyed and eager to watch my little darling toddle off into the world. I don’t see my books as “my children,” and I’m afraid I don’t understand the sentiment. (It’s one of those things that works well for other people, but not for me.) At this stage, having been through upwards of six rounds of revisions, having devoted 12-hour days to copyedits and proofreading, all I can see are the book’s flaws. Because that’s all I’ve been looking for. It’s hard to describe just how much of writing involves tearing yourself apart, second-guessing yourself, scrutinizing even your most fundamental stores of knowledge – for instance, I routinely end up doing things like checking the definition of the word “crimson” to make sure it’s the right shade of red, when I know perfectly well any shade will do! It’s a bit like gaslighting yourself. I think you end up a little crazy by the end of it.
Does Beloved have awesome stuff in it? Absolutely! (Blood! Blood everywhere!) My judgment isn’t a true one, at this stage – it’s one born of exhaustion. I felt the same way about Departed for a while, and now I adore it again. And I’m very happy to finally be done with the main bout of work, able to turn my attention to continuing the series and writing other things. But I’m also a little sad to see the pages go, to know that’s the end of it. I hate that part, too. It’s the shutting of the door on book two, knowing that there are only so many more to go. The end of the process is always bittersweet.
In COVER NEWS, I’ve seen the final front cover, and it’s amazing! I like the turn the design took. I’m holding off on revealing it because we’re all waiting for the back cover, where a character other than Nora will lurk. Also, I’m told that when ARCS ARRIVE, I’ll be getting my own store, so we’ll start that process soon.