One Road to Novel Publication, in 6 Acts

In just 368 days, Ferry to Cooperation Island will be out in the world. As you read this, my award-winning publisher is working up cover ideas. I’m working on the next story—while actively not-worrying about what someone else’s perception of this one will look like…

June 16, 2020 is publication day for Ferry to Cooperation Island.

I’m more than ready to hold this book in my hands. So on this pre-anniversary, join me on a stroll down blog-memory lane, neatly packaged into six “acts”—a reminder to myself (and you) that patience is a critical part of the process.

Act I: The Idea

In February 2012, I compared writing first drafts to raising toddlers:

Suddenly I’m bottle-feeding these characters of mine, watching them react to a change in the light or another person entering the room. Laughing at the first words, the gestures that were somehow already familiar. Like any new parent, I’m both excited and exhausted…

Story Parenting

Act II: The First Draft

April 2016: I begin the real work.

I’ve been rushing to finish a rough draft, before I lose the magic of this island where I feel so much at home. Standing back a bit, though, that fear seems rather silly. I ignored this same idea for four years, and it’s still here—more defined, different from the original, but still holding firm, just as a rocky island should. This one gets an A+ for persistence…

The Story that Didn’t Go Away

Act III: The Cleanup

October 2016: Editing, round one

I’m currently slogging through edits of the new book, which makes it sound like the writing is done. It’s not, but the only way to see what’s still missing is to clean up what is already there. Kind of like doing all the dishes so you can wipe down the counters. I have to say this is not the fun part…

Cleaning Up After Myself

Act IV: Developmental Editing

June 2018: Hindsight is always 20/20

I could talk all day about my first time hiring a developmental editor and how wonderful it’s been, but instead I’ll limit myself to five tips that will help you choose the right one—and also help you decide when it’s time to do so. (Spoiler alert: This should’ve happened WAY sooner.)…

Why Hire an Editor?

Act V: Found an agent!

September 2018: All that hard work pays off.

A wise author friend predicted it would take me a year to find an agent, and she turned out to be spot on. I started querying literary agents in September 2017, and I’ve just signed a contract: I’m now represented by April Eberhardt!

Breaking News: Signed an Agent!

Act VI: Publishing Contract, Signed!

January 2019: (Almost) an anti-climax

Signing a publishing contract ticks a huge goal off my to-do list—and even more importantly, it is a major step toward getting this next book out of my brain and into your hands at last.

Publishing Contract, Signed!

And last but not least, I’ll leave you with this thought from a post written in September, 2017, when I “first” thought this book was ready for readers: 

Ten years from now, it won’t matter how long it takes to complete; it will only matter if the story is still attracting an audience. So I’m putting on my patience pants, one leg at a time—and asking you to do the same.

Pulling on my Publishing Patience Pants

Save the date: June 16, 2020. Meanwhile, thanks for your energy and enthusiasm throughout this process. I can’t wait to show it to you. I can’t wait to see it! But we’ll all have to be just a little more patient…

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