Poised, ready to dive in

Yesterday I lugged all 450 pages of the Every Vow You Break manuscript – with line-edits and my own final alterations – up to London to hand over to Leah, my editor at Headline. Tomorrow, I start on Bad Jean. Although character, place and story are pretty well formed in my head, I have not yet written one single word. Eek.

Looking back over this blog, I realise, with a little frisson of horror, that by November 24 2010 I was printing out the first draft of Every Vow You Break.… read more

Nearly There Now

Editor Leah got back with her notes for draft two of Every Vow You Break (formerly known as Novel #2). There were two of them: 1) it’s brilliant and 2) she loves it. The story, plot, character and setting notes from draft one are now all fixed! Hurrah!

Before it goes to the copy editor, though, I’ve asked for another couple of weeks to get right on down to the word level, polishing each sentence so that it conveys as succinctly as possible what I am trying to say.… read more

What I Learned While Editing…

3 am, San Francisco Hotel bathroom

I’ve not been around for a while because, among other things, I have had my head down on draft 2 of novel #2. I had some fantastic notes from EditorLeah, AgentSimon and AsstAgentAriella, and have been working on them, weaving new plotlines back and forth, making sure the little boy doesn’t age rather too rapidly to serve the story (!) and cutting out one of the two prologues and one of the secret rooms.… read more

And Back to Work

What I did in my holidays. Come and see this if you fancy 'a rather tiresome sight gag involving leopard-print underpants' (Independent)

I just got my editor’s notes through, and I’m very excited. It has been a long wait, with me alternating between telling myself that a) she is very busy and has lots of notes to write for lots of novels and b) that the novel has revealed itself to be so full of problems and loopholes and red herrings and, just, well, shite writing, that it is taking her far longer than she anticipated.… read more

But is the husband me?

So, the verdict on the first draft of novel #2 is out.

AgentSimon: “Fucking hellfire, that’s a good book.” Followed by lots of suggestions for improvement, ending with the wonderful words “You aren’t a one-hit wonder”. Which is what a second-time novelist needs to hear from her agent. AssistantAriella has since got back to me with a list of wonderful notes, that are all going into the second draft.

OldMan: “It’s great. But is Marcus-the-husband me?” Me: “No, of course not**.… read more

Can I have my wife back please?

The upside: pasta and pesto, home made by LittleSon

The title of this post is taken from OldMan’s facebook status update for the weekend, addressed “dear novel writing”.

Yesterday I sent the second draft of  novel#2 off to AgentSimon, and I also hand-delivered the corrected paperback proofs of Cuckoo to Headline Towers (the paperback is out on 13th October 2011).

The past month has been insane – I have worked sixteen hour days, seven days a week to get novel#2 into a presentable state. … read more

Busy busy

They've arrived! Real books, nestling on a fleece

Guilt! Guilt! I’m a bad, infrequent blogger.

I am busier than I ever thought it was possible to be. I mean it’s only one book that’s being published on March 3. And I’m working on the second draft of just one other book, to be delivered at the latest by the end of March, but ideally in the middle of the month.

Two things. That’s not much. When I was web designing I was juggling five or six projects all the time. … read more

*Emerges briefly from second draft*

Somewhere I have been other than at my desk

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. The reason is that I’ve been busy writing the second draft of novel#2. This means that a) my typing fingers are too exhausted at the end of the day to do a blog post and b) there’s nothing worth blogging about, because all I do is write.

That’s not strictly true, because I have had a little trip to New York, and some lovely nights in and out with friends and family.… read more

Finally, at last, etc.

I have finally stopped myself procrastinating and started the read through of draft one, novel #2.

Before starting, I:

  • Made a nice wall-chart of juicy quotes from Macbeth
  • Studied Penelope Leach to make sure my addled parenting memory isn’t confusing what a three year old child can and can’t do
  • Printed out research photos and stuck them up on my wall
  • Caught up on emails
  • Have been very quick to respond to requests from Sam Eades, my powerhouse publicist at Headline (who is sending out proof copies of CUCKOO as I write this)
  • Made up some Ikea cardboard boxes I bought last week…
  • …Boxed up old drafts of CUCKOO, taking time to look at my annotated first draft to see how much I altered (almost all of it)
  • Cleared some space on my bookshelves
  • Bought yet more index cards, stickers and stars
  • Put Draft One in another lever arch file because the one it was in had got squashed.
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Weightlifting for weedy writers

Note the spaces around the words. Not empty for long...

I have printed out my first draft of novel #2, and it comes to nearly 500 pages, and used up a whole black inkjet. This environmental abomination is going to be my constant companion for the next six weeks or so. I’m going to read it, scribble on it, cross out great chunks, add bits and make lists from it and fill in a pile of index cards.… read more