It is my pleasure to introduce you to the face of our very first WU book, Author in Progress! Isn’t it eye-catching and full of energy? I just love it.
I thought doing a cover-reveal post with a little something extra would be nice, so I asked my editor if she’d mind my reprinting the intro I wrote for Author in Progress, which reveals how the idea came to be, and why I believe this book is stuffed full of the very best secrets and fuel for not-yet-published authors. She agreed, and so here we are!
Over the coming months, you’ll learn a little more about Author in Progress, including a run-down of the book’s chapters. I’m ridiculously proud of this book, particularly because the essays created by our full slate of WU contributors are some of the best they’ve written — and you know that’s saying a lot, because when aren’t they fantastic? Author in Progress is already available to pre-order at all of the usual haunts, too, though the cover is slightly different on these sites; have a look at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound. It has a soft-release date of November 1st, though many will receive pre-ordered books in mid-October. Consider, too, adding it to your ‘want to read’ shelf on Goodreads.
Without further ado: Welcome to the beginning.
After I got my publishing deal, the question I received most often from not-yet-published authors was this: How did you do it?
The pithy answer? You put your butt in a chair and write.
Don’t you want to punch that answer in the face? It’s like hearing someone with great hair say that she simply rolls out of bed in the morning and fluffs it a little. You know she has a cabinet filled with gels and sprays and various anti-frizz products, but she doesn’t want to share her secrets or admit to the mirror time required. She just wants you to admire the final product.
Well, butt in chair is only part of the story, and the least fantastical part at that. So let’s try again.
How did you do it?
I spent several years writing and editing a version of the manuscript that would become my debut novel, but it wouldn’t become my debut until after I gutted all of that polished prose. I tore the story to the ground and then built it back up with a new (more innovative) structure, new (shades-of-gray) characters, new (layered) storylines, and a new (stronger) voice. I finished the manuscript for a second time, and that version is what finally sold. The “formula,” in broad strokes, was this: [Read more…]