I’m about to unleash Grace Madison, archaeologist, on the world May 12th via When Camels Fly. Hers has been a long, slow birth.
I sat on the plane from Israel last month, reading the e-book proof in all it’s glory. She came alive high about the Atlantic because the prose is streamlined, the dialogue true. I saw what my beta readers have seen: Grace is Everywoman, albeit thrown into dangerous situations, fiercely protecting those she loves, trying to do the right thing with humor and … grace.
But backing up a little, I received (the morning I left for the Middle East) the ruthless edit of The Brothers’ Keepers (November 2014) from an assassin thinly disguised as a professional editor. I avoided looking at the file for almost a month, focusing on finalizing When Camels Fly.
When I got home, I started the washing machine, made sure the bills were current, and waltzed into The Brothers’ Keepers, which picks up seamlessly where When Camels Fly ends. Three proofing cycles remain on this second in the series. My front-line beta reader; my “read it out loud starting with the last chapter” edit that confuses the old cat who sleeps on one end of my desk; and the pre-proof read-through in late June. Sprinkled throughout the process, beta readers and book club friends and my partner in crime (my adult daughter) and I will be finalizing copy and adjusting characterizations. This ices the literary cake.
Then it’s straight into the writing of manuscript three, which pushes toward my frontal lobe as I type.
It’s been a good journey. I’ve learned a lot about myself, my writing, and publishing. I’ve met some phenomenal people and professionals. I have (dare I say it?) had a blast.
But back to the photo at the top. When I saw the man walking his camel across a ridge in the Judean Wilderness last month, I thought, “that’s what I feel like with this fiction writing.” He and I both appear to be taking the long way, and I hope his journey is as fulfilling and exciting as mine.
(Next week is the cover release for When Camels Fly. Stay tuned, and prepare to “camel up!”)