A year later, I decided to challenge myself and get the rough draft down in a month. It was short and it was very rough, but I had something to work with. I was ready to tackle the story.
Then I found out I was pregnant. After having difficulty getting pregnant with the twins, we expected another pregnancy would be as problematic. It wasn’t. We were surprised and excited and I was a little worried. How could I handle being pregnant and chasing toddler twins? With the twins, especially toward the end of the pregnancy, I was so exhausted eating breakfast and taking a shower required a nap. How was I going to do this?
Then I figured with only one baby, the pregnancy should be easier. I would have more energy, less morning sickness. I determined to walk everyday and keep up my strength. That lasted about a week.
It was miserable. I was tired, sick most mornings and the twins decided they no longer needed an afternoon nap.
And yet, I kept trying to write this book. Every time, I’d try to get the story straightened out, the timeline would get confused. Changing scenes around wouldn’t work. At one point one the characters had poison ivy for a month and a half. According to my research, even bad cases only last for a week or two. My critique partners read the manuscript and said the love story was missing. Not a good thing for a romance.
I felt like I had renumbered the chapters twenty times. Finally, I changed them all to descriptions of the chapters instead of numbers, so I wouldn’t have to keep redoing them.
I was starting to hate the manuscript, but I was too stubborn to give up on it. Just before the baby was born, I thought I had it in shape. Ready for one final read through and then I could send it out. I put it away for a few weeks.
After the baby was born, my energy started to come back and the twins started napping again. I tackled that final read-through. It was terrible. A process I thought would be taking out a few ‘that’s and passive verbs turned into a major rewrite. I added scenes and took out other ones. I may have even changed the timeline again. I still couldn’t say that I liked the story, but I knew that I had improved it.
When a chance to pitch it came up, I thought, “Why not?” It can’t hurt. The opportunity was a pitch day on an email list where several publishers would be reviewing the pitches and requesting manuscripts. I was surprised to receive one request, then I checked my email a few minutes later and there was another. A few days later, I checked my spam folder and there was another request. I couldn’t believe it. A story I had been ready to give up on so many times had been requested three times.
A contract offer came within a week. And the book will be published at the end of March by Astraea Press.
Some stories are easy to write. The story flows out onto the paper and the events line up exactly as you want them to. Others are like ripping teeth out with pliers and a hammer. Every step forward takes you two steps backward and around a different corner.
Stick with the ones that won’t let you go.
You can find Joselyn online at her website: http://joselynvaughn.com
Purchase link for Sucker for a Hot Rod: http://astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662267&mode=product&product=3028826