Friday around 10:30PM, I finished a “truck draft” (if I’d been hit by a truck, they still could have published the book, though it’d have been a bit rough) of Better Than Love, and yesterday at around 9:30 I got done with the book placenta, which is all the not very sexy but very important stuff like making sure I polished all the edges, ran a spell check, etc happened, plus another read through to give everything one more look-see, and then after I fought Scrivener and its insistence on fucking over the chapter headings NO MATTER WHAT I FUCKING DO, I sent that bitch out to the betas. Last few books I haven’t done betas, but this one gets a big fat beta round. Before RT I’ll send it to my agent, and then it will be on to Samhain where it will begin its long journey to your hands, should you chose to purchase it.
All I can say is that I feel like I’ve been through a goddamned war. Twice I tried to put this bitch to bed and failed. This round sure started out well, but I kept worrying it would fall apart, and there was white hot terror behind that, because this time it had to happen. There was of course the great overwrite scare where I nearly lost the fucking flogging scene. Sometimes writing this draft I felt like this was the best goddamn thing I’d ever written in my life. When I wrote the end, I bawled my goddamned head off, partly because of something I wrote, partly because I have no shit been riding this horse since 2010, and I am fucking worn out. Now it’s done, which, thank you Jesus.
Of course, now I”m in EON, End Of Novel syndrome, and this one is bad. I had nightmarish, grisly dreams about trying to save my family from zombie-like aliens, which once they found out I was hiding the dead slimy tentacled corpse of their baby, they were really gonna get pissed. I woke feeling like I’d been on a ten-day bender, and I wasn’t even out of bed before the darkness swamped my head and I began to worry, sure the book sucked, sure nothing worked, that it had all turned sour, and the betas wouldn’t tell me because it would be SO HORRIBLY BAD they’d lie because they couldn’t bear to tell me how awful. (I confessed a shorter version of that in text to Dan while he was at work and he, who is already 15% into it said NO NO NO and proceeded to hand me my ass.) In the end I got out of it by letting a potential WIP talk to me and let my brain stew on new story instead of trying to tear down the old one.
Naturally, the sweet, cute romance I had planned informed me one of the heroes is a sex addict. Apparently my muses are sadists, but I’m a masochist, because after I whined this wasn’t what I wanted, they lifted the veil a little higher, and I said, oh… But we’ll see. Nothing is real until I have 30,000 words, and even then things can still go wrong.
The good news is that I only have two days and then I’m going to be in New York until the 10th. I can’t imagine there’s a better way to spend EON than hanging out with Damon Suede plotting our world domination.
I wanted to let you know, though, that the book really happened, and right now I have a sextet of angels reading and telling me what’s good and what’s not, and basically we’re on the road now, bitches, and thank God.
Here’s some show and tell for fun.
This is the collage I worked from. It was on my desktop the whole time and is still there, making me miss them already whenever I look at it.
This is a screenshot of the music I listened to. There was a lot of music, and a fuckload of JLo. Anna never wants to hear the Love? album again, and frequently said, “What is up with all this Spanish music?”
Finally, if you want an excerpt: I posted this on FB awhile back, and maybe I linked to it here, I can’t remember. But here’s that.
And now I’m going to go watch Doctor Who, fold laundry, pack a suitcase, and in general not write this book anymore. As a parting gift I leave you with a song never referenced in the book, but one that has been in the soundtrack since the very beginning and one which, were this ever a movie, I’d ask them to strongly consider working into a montage sequence somehow. Thanks for riding along with me, for being patient, and for being excited about this story even when sometimes it got the better of me and I wasn’t anymore. Because your letters, support, and love kept me together too.