My second novel was born almost exactly nine months to the day after starting this blog. My original intention was to chronicle its gestation, with regular updates about its development. I'd planned to share intimate snippets of the joys, the discomfort and all the associated growing pains and stretch marks.
Negotiating with a literary agent early in the process messed up my original idea for Ink, Sweat & Tears. Because I had to keep my musings to myself during that delicate process, I lost my flow for this blog. It paid off in the end when I was signed by American literary agent Debbie Carter.
I had to lay my dream baby, A Thousand Miles to Meet, aside to write a book more to the agent's requirements. Out of our collaboration has come a fun, middle grade travel adventure novel tentatively called Summer of the Silk Dragon. Writing with the agent's guidance was a tremendously valuable experience. She was tough, but I appreciated the straight-forward feedback. I'm all about growing as a writer.
After completing the first four chapters of the book, I began pursuing freelance opportunities at the agent's prompting. Debbie taught me ways to build my author profile, and I had a go at everything she suggested. Journalistic writing is a big step away from fiction, but I felt it was still useful. As long as I'm learning and growing, I'm happy.
During the mid-year school holidays, I returned to the manuscript. The labour was intense. I remember feeling the same emotions after delivering my third daughter. I felt a combination of relief and joy and satisfaction, and I had the immediate sense that I could do it again. I would do it again–and I got stuck straight into it. I had such confidence in my character that I wanted to stick with her.
I dreamed up a series about my “globe-roving cub reporter,” and I sent a proposal off to the agent. In the end, the series idea didn't grab her. I'm still grieving the loss of that possibility (I'd outlined one of the next adventures), but I'll get over it. Or maybe I'll do it anyway.
Next up, editing. Silk Dragon is “out” but it's not fully grown yet. I've got to raise this puppy!