When I first started out in this business, sending off a manuscript meant printing out a thick wad of paper and popping an Express Post envelope into the mailbox. Now it means clicking 'attach' to an email, and hitting 'Send'. But in both cases, it means sending up a little prayer that my story might be looked upon favourably by those who read it.
I've been working on this novel for many months. I actually finished one version, and then completely rewrote it, taking out a couple of key characters and inserting a new and different one. It's a kind of sequel to the Chanters of Tremaris series, which were the first books I ever had published. I was hoping it would be a relaxing, fun experience — revisiting a world which has been very good to me, and immersing myself again in high fantasy, which I haven't written for several years. And to a certain extent, that was true. But I also got caught up in the problems of back-story — how much to reveal, how much to assume, how much to keep hidden, in case new readers wanted to go back to the beginning? (That was why I cut out those two awkward characters.)
Events in the real world also got in the way. I was sick, my dad had a stroke. I couldn't (can't) spend as much time writing as I used to. And some days all I wanted to do was to lie on my bed and read; writing was work and I didn't have the energy to wrestle with it.
I'm prepared (I am always prepared!) for the possibility that my publishers might decline. In that case, I'm hoping there are enough Tremaris devotees out there to make self-publishing a viable option. It will be something new to learn, anyway, and these days I am all in favour of Learning New Things (have I mentioned my piano lessons?)
But the good news is, I have three ideas to work on next! So back to the keyboard I go…because even after you've 'finished' one book, this job of writing is never done.