There have been questions about where book 3 is given that the cliffhanger for At Any Turn was a bit of a doozy–(yes, I know that I understate). I know you all are dying for the book as much as I’m dying to finish it. And I know that I’ve been vague about when I will have it ready for release…
However, by way of explaining the wait, I wanted to walk you through my process for creating a new book. I’m hoping to speed this up in the future once writing becomes my full time job. But for right now, it is still the second job and I do work full time at my day job during the week. I write pretty much every evening and eight to ten hours a day on the weekends.
1) Preplanning: Character backgrounds (this was already done when I wrote At Any Price so I was able to skip this for At Any Moment!), character development for the book, plot mapping, scene mapping. I spend this time laying the groundwork for the bare bones of the story.
2) Fast Draft: For about 12-14 days I do nothing but write write write (oh, work, eat and sleep get shoved in there somewhere, too). There are LOTS of words but this draft is messy and full of plot holes and missing scenes and full of weird, half coherent notes to myself about what needs to go where.
3) Critique Draft: Once I step away from the rough draft, I come back and read through the entire thing as if it was somebody else’s book. Throughout the read, I make notes to myself about what the manuscript needs. When I redraft, I add these things in, create some coherent pages and send them to my critique partner, with whom I’ve been working for many years. She reads the draft and sends me her notes on what needs improvement. You may envy her that she gets to read the story first, but at this point, it is still untidy and needs a lot of work.
4) Beta Draft: Once I get the critique partner’s notes, I create the beta draft. This is where I can layer in details and emotion and depth to the story. At this point, we are actually getting somewhere…the book is in one coherent form, most of the character motivations are worked out. The subplots are in place but might be kind of patchy (a subplot is something going on in the background, for example Heath and Connor’s relationship, or the secret Dragon Epoch quest. In the beta version, these exist but are not fleshed out like they should be). But the main storyline between the hero and the heroine is mostly intact. Once I have this draft complete, I send it to my beta readers and my developmental editor. They read it and provide feedback to me. The developmental editor provides me with a “report”—which is an extensive analysis of the story, plot, themes, continuity (timeline), structure, etc.
5) Final Draft: I take these notes from all these people and compile notes to myself about what I need to put into the next draft. I input this feedback and do the final draft. After revising the manuscript again, I reread it to make sure everything is how I want it and the details are just right. Then I send it to the copy editor.
6) The Copy Edited Draft: With the marked-up manuscript back from the copy editor, I go through the book again. This time I’m making small fixes like punctuation, grammar, fixing wonky/clunky sentences and polishing any ambiguous spots. This is also where I make tiny fixes to the story, for example, did Adam unbutton his shirt and then two paragraphs later unbutton it again? Did Mia shrug her shoulders four times in one paragraph or did I repeat the same verb in three consecutive sentences? Things like that.
7) Proof Copy: After the copy edits are done, I send it to the proofreader who rereads and makes sure that there aren’t any mistakes in the copy that were missed or that were reintroduced as I was making the copy edits.
8) Formatted Copy: Once that’s done, the book is formatted into the kindle, iBooks, nook, etc. formats for ebook and the print formatting is also done.
9) Final Proofread: One last proofread is done to catch any mistakes that might have shown up in the formatting.
So…now that you’ve read this, you are probably scratching your head and thinking, “Okay but where is the $#%#$ book?”
So here’s the state of the manuscript as of today. I will be sending the beta draft off to beta readers and the developmental editor this weekend. As soon as I have her report in my hands and all their comments, I’ll be able to judge how much of a rewrite the book will need.
This is why I don’t have an exact release date for you yet. However, I will tell you that I am definitely shooting for an October release and hope to have more details for you, including some teaser pages, to release in my newsletter sometime in the next week or two.
Thank you so much for being patient with me. I know you want the book and, believe me, it is a wonderful feeling to know so many people are vested in the story and love the characters as much as I do. I promise that I am doing everything in my power to make the wait worth it!!