I have been so wrapped up in marketing and freelancing that I haven’t had much time to write for myself. The last thing I wrote was The Online Writer’s Companion. It felt like it was completed a few weeks ago, but I actually finished the first draft in January.
The truth is, I don’t really have to write. I’ve been asked a lot of questions about my next project, with interviewers assuming that because I signed a 6 book deal and announced 2 of those books, I still needed to write the other 4. Not true.
In April, the sequel to An Idiot in Love will be published, and that was written at the beginning of 2015. After that, Forever After will be re-published, and that was written in 2012. The Clinic (also previously published) will follow, and there is also another pen name publishing books at the same time.
It wasn’t even a 6 book deal. That just felt like a nice rounded number, so that’s what was announced in the press release. There are actually 9 books from 3 pen names, 5 of which belong to David Jester (potentially 6, it’s complicated).
These books still feel like new to me. I began writing This is How You Die in 2010, before writing the majority of it in 2013 and finalising it in 2014. It wasn’t the last book I wrote. It wasn’t even the last fiction book I wrote. But after spending so long editing it, fine-tuning it, working on the design, the marketing, and then gradually seeing it come to life, it feels new. It’s something I have always wondered about: How can an author get excited about their “latest” project when they actually wrote it close to 2 years ago and have written many more novels since? But the process helps to keep it close.
The gap from writing to publishing will be even bigger with Forever After. By the time that hits the shelves, it will have been 5 years since I finished the first draft. But that’s one of the books I’m looking forward to the most. We already have a great cover and although the editing hasn’t started yet, everything about that book is still fresh in my mind (it was always one of my favourites).
So that brings me to my latest project, the first fiction I have written in what feels like a lifetime, but is actually just a year or two. I’m very excited about this novel, but because we have a full schedule ahead of us, it could have a long wait. If I finish it this year, it might be another 3 years before it hits the shelves, and 2 years before we even start editing it.
You need a lot of patience to be an author, and it’s a completely different world to the self-publishing one that I left behind. But you can’t beat the feeling of seeing your book in print, of holding those copies in your hand and knowing that all that waiting and all that work was worth it.