You know the age-old comment about sausage: You don’t want to watch it being made. A shudder goes here. I really DON’T want to witness the process. Come to that, I don’t even want to read about the ingredients in sausage. Happily, I will chomp down a delicious wiener nestled in a buttered warm bun, with ketchup, stoneground mustard, and sweet relish. Ignorance, sometimes, is bliss.
Readers, you don’t want to know how a novel is made, either. Trust me.
Better you should imagine an author at her computer, smiling while stories drift from her brain to the tips of her fingers and onto the printed page. Once in a while she’ll say ‘Oops,’ and correct a phrasing or replace one word with another. But in record time, she’ll shoot her story to her editor, who will make a few choice comments and correct some errors. Then off to the publisher the book goes, to be formatted and released in all its glory.
I wish. A novel. Years of toil, hours of pondering, thousands of words thrown out, hundreds of synonyms considered, constant re-ordering, editing and polishing. None of my stories end up the way they started. That’s a fact. And for all that work I put into every novel, I still wish I could have done more to make the ‘sausage’ I hoped to create.
As I release BAD LIES this month, here’s a little story about the novel’s rocky road to Amazon and Smashwords:
I wrote the book and pitched my story about a woman playing competitive golf to agents and publishers in 2006. Their response was: ‘No one wants to read a suspense story about a woman playing golf.’
Pitched the same novel in 2008. The agents said: ‘We’re looking for a novel about golf. Anyone have one?’
Here I am in 2017, presenting my talented golfer who’s learned to love the sport, and a NATO geologist who has happily left the game behind. Toss in criminals who don’t want anyone snooping in the caves of Amalfi.
I would hate to guess how many times I’ve rewritten BAD LIES since 2005. The thing is, the more an author writes, the more critical she becomes of her work. Polishing my work is nothing like Venus bursting from her shell, it’s more like the mess of snakes writhing on the head of Medusa.
But we have to STOP processing sometime, somewhere, somehow. So here’s my sausage: BAD LIES. Enjoy it…with relish!