I completed the revisions on my 27th book at midnight Sunday. The manuscript was due on my editor’s desk the next morning. Thank heavens for e-mail, right? But, I am not a last-minute, thrill-of-the-crunch-time, adrenalin junkie. Not even close. So what went wrong this time, with this book?
The book’s title is THE GOOD PROVIDER and will be out this fall. But I’m calling it my P.T.S.D. book. (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder). I wrote it immediately after my sister’s death. Immediately after my grueling summer of watching her die. Not only was on contract with a committed deadline, I told myself work was my escape. I liked thinking I was finally in a place where I had some say in the outcome of someone’s life. In this case, my hero and heroine. That well-promised HEA called to me.
BUT, what I didn’t fully take into account was where my head and heart was in the grieving process. I’ve worked through sad times before. I figured this would be no different. But it was.
My wonderful editor didn’t come right out and say, “What the hell were you thinking?” She’s far too kind, but I could hear her exasperation in the imbedded comments of her revision notes. The problem stemmed from the obvious disconnect I’d created between the story and the characters. They were/are interesting, complex people with great heart and intensity; yet, I’d reduced them to actors on stage, sleepwalking through their roles.
In hindsight, I’m not surprised. I’d created that same disconnect across the board in my life–family, friends, online communites. I think that’s not untypical of PTSD. In hindsight, I probably should have “stepped away from my manuscript” until the fog lifted.
Well, guess what? The fog’s gone, now, let me tell you. Nothing like a few 14-hr days chained to your chair to whip you into shape. LOL.
The good news is: I, now, like this book again. I feel as though I finally know Daria and William. I picture them shaking their heads at me. Working with a sleepwalking writer must have been frustrating for them, too. 😉
So…the book is done. It’s soooo much better. And I’m headed to town for a massage. Yippee!!! I really, really need one.
Now, to offset this dry, reflective, totally writer-stuff topic, here’s a picture of my father-in-law, Milt, who is visiting from South Dakota. He’s 86. I told him he’s famous, now. (Just play along, okay?)
Have a great week, everyone.