Wherein I Realize What a Two-Book Deal Really Means

Let me start by saying that this is a good thing. I’m not complaining about my super awesome book deal. I’m just panicking.


I took all the time in the world to write GROUNDED (the first book in the Tyme series). I wrote it, rewrote it, revised it, rewrote it, replanned the entire universe and series with Ruth, and revised GROUNDED again. I sent it out to many people whom I thought might be willing to read it and give me honest feedback. I polished it like a rock in a tumbler, over the course of years.

For the second book, I get six months.


Okay, so that’s not quite true. But here’s the real timeline, and it’s terrifying.

2004-2012: Wrote GROUNDED, planned series.
Spring 2013: GROUNDED, along with the second book in the series, was picked up by Cheryl Klein at Arthur A. Levine Books.
Summer 2013: Wrote first draft of second book in series. Received GROUNDED revision letter.
Holiday 2013: Finished revision of GROUNDED. GROUNDED will now go through the line editing and copy editing processes, so I’m not done with it.
June 2014: Final manuscript of GROUNDED is due.

And at the SAME TIME

June 2014: Manuscript of book two is due.

Now, it’s true that, after June comes, there are two years before that second book actually gets released. Two whole years. Plenty of time for revision.  It’s also true that I am not particularly nervous about knocking out a second draft of book two by June.  I’m pretty darn fast, when I get going.  It’s even true that I pretty much have a draft of book two ready to go, and if I had to hand it in right now, I just about could.

But it’s not good enough.  It’s so not good enough.  Not after one draft.  And given the fact that between now and June I’ll also be a mom, a teacher, and responsible for doing line and copy edits for GROUNDED, I will barely have time for one revision of book two before I have to hand it over to my editor.  That’s uncomfortable for me.  I like things to be perfect. I like them to be right. I want the second book to be in the same highly polished state that GROUNDED was when it starts the process of metamorphosing from manuscript into Real Book…

What I have to accept is that it won’t be.  GROUNDED was a first child, and it got the laser-focus that a first child gets.  I can’t take years and years to write every book. I can’t hoard every manuscript for nigh on a decade, clutching it and cooing gently to it in the night. If I’m only willing to let go of my manuscripts once every eight years, then I can’t have a writing career. And I do want to build a writing career. So I’m going to have to get my head around this.

Wish me luck.


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