It was a beautiful sunny day in early September when I got the call saying Abaddon Books were commissioning a novel from me. It's now a beautiful sunny day in early March, and it's now in their hands.
Yup, that's it. I did a final spellcheck this morning and emailed the final draft of my novel Tide of
Souls to Jon Oliver at Abaddon. 'Tis all in the lap of the Gods now... well, actually, it's in Jon's lap, but you know what I mean.
I caught the train to work that day- normally I get the bus, but the phone call had delayed me. For some reason I kept listening to Enola Gay by OMD over and over again on the journey. With a Tony-Blair-esque grin pasted to my face that probably traumatised small children for weeks afterwards. I remember the buzz of it- knowing I was going to get a novel published, but not yet embroiled in all the bloody hard work of making it happen. A couple of days later, of course, I had to buckle down and get on with it.
So, five months later, how do I feel? Odd, so far. It hasn't quite sunk in that it's over. Not completely over, of course- Jon will almost certainly what this or that tweaked or changed, there'll be proofs to read and lord knows what else- but virtually every spare hour of the past few weeks has been devoted to rewriting and redrafting.
Sometimes the writing process was the biggest buzz ever- at a couple of points I got bogged down and it was a long, arduous slog to get through it. So, not an unadulterated joy, but it was worth it.
The first draft, just so you know, was just shy of 117,000 words. The final version that went out today was 93,221. There was a lot of deadweight in that middle section.
Of course, at some point, I need to start thinking about a second novel. That'll come soon... and all the work will start again... but not today. Today I'm going to sniff the flowers, feel the sun on my face, see if my friends still remember who I am... and also, yes, I'll probably listen to Enola Gay. Over and over again.
Thanks for listening to me babble. Have a fun day!