Today marks a very important day for me. Today I finished the final draft of the final chapter in book two of my three-part Minder series. This has been an incredible journey, from answering a dare from a friend in 2010 to the decision in 2012 to completely start the novel over and rewrite it. What started out as basically an erotic story has turned into a real novel, with characters I have come to love and cherish, a storyline that has both a long and several short arcs, suspense, conflict, emotions, joy, sadness and satisfaction.
In a way, I feel like this story has encapsulated my life, and is actually an autobiography of sorts (although I never worked for an Intelligence Agency), and finishing this first important milestone has left me feeling both elated and a little sad. The journey has been thrilling and hard. At times, writing it was like flying – effortless and fun and full of adventure. At times it was a hard slog, and I’ve lost count of the times I truly thought I would give it all up. There have been moments where I’ve read it and thought, “Damn, this is good,” and just as many when I’ve thought, “This is shit.”
For so long, I thought of this as just ‘editing’ the original story, but one day I was reading through it and realised that I had essentially written two books over the course of the past two years. This was not a matter of editing a few SPaG problems. This was a major reworking of the original story – huge parts were taken out, and a major storyline put in. I didn’t rewrite Her Minder. I wrote an entirely new story based on the original. When I realised that, I didn’t feel half as bad for taking so long. The original story was 25 chapters long. This one is 37 and will be broken into two separate books – The Doctor, The Chine, and the last will be called Silverbirch. The Doctor and The Chine are complete; Silverbirch is about 1/2 way there.
I’m now itching to start on the third book of the series (a lot of it is already written), but now I know that the hard part starts. Sending this off to publishers, getting rejection after rejection letter (or nothing at all), getting up my hopes and having them dashed. And through it all, the hope that someone will like what they read. I may end up self-publishing, but I will promote the hell out of it.
I have so many people to thank for their time and skill and expertise in helping me through this long process. Noxiaa, for all the early alpha reading and sterling advice, Toblass for her alpha reading and encouragement, jenidralph for read throughs and a fresh pair of eyes, beffeysue for enabling me at times to be able to keep my part-time job and write. All of you have been so encouraging, and I really couldn’t have done it without your help.
I also need to thank especially kmhmd, for inspiring me to write it in the first place. Your friendship and support and cheerleading kept me going when I was ready to give up.
The person who has made the biggest difference has unsurprisingly been stgulik. She read through it, and said, “I don’t like it.” I knew then I had to make it better. I knew that the fault lay with me and my characterisation. I believed in the characters so much, and if they weren’t people you rooted for and loved, it was my fault. I begged her to help me, and the say she said, “yes” was the day I knew I could make this story work. She has been more than a best friend. She has been more than an editor. She has been tough and encouraging, and hysterically funny and uncompromisingly firm and ruthless when it was needed. I trust her with my life, and the lives of my characters, because her loyalty has always been to them and the story, even when she wasn’t all that crazy about it. I cannot thank her enough or stress her importance enough in what I do. If this series has any success at all, it is due in no small part to her. Jules, I love you so much. Collaborating with you has been the most satisfying project I’ve ever completed.
Now I’m going to take a day or two off, then start reading it from the beginning for a final look through.