I've got to be honest, the question that makes me wince every time I hear it is “hey, when's the book coming out.”
I really wish I had an answer. “Soon...err, soon-ish,” is usually my answer.
Before starting “Season On the Brink” I had never written a novel before. I knew it would be a hard job, but never knew it would take this long. We got the first draft done and I thought I was close. That was several months ago.
No first draft is ever good enough. I had heard that before, but never realized how true it was. I got a second one done, and the book was definitely better.
It wasn't ready, though. We sent the second draft out to a group of test readers. I'm very happy to report that the responses to the book have been very good. People really seem to like the world of Eastport and the people that inhabit it. I've made a lot of people cry, and laugh, and think.
That part is awesome. I asked for notes, and some of my readers had some very good points that needed addressing. The second draft was good, but it wasn't quite there yet.
So that's what I'm working on now, the third draft. I think – hope – that this is the final one. I've rewritten a couple of chapters, cut one out altogether, added depth to a few characters and scenes and tightened it up considerably.
By the time I'm done with this draft I think that the manuscript will be about four or five pages shorter. That might not sound like a lot, but trust me, it is.
Earlier today I was talking with my boss at The Enterprise and told him that I was frustrated that it wasn't moving at a quicker pace. I likened it to a runner that reached the final mile of a race only to find out that he had to take a detour and that the seven-miler he thought he was running was actually a half-marathon.
He gave me a nice piece of wisdom. “The race was always this long, you just didn't know it, but you were always supposed to run that far and it will be worth it when you cross the finish line.”
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I had the privilege of doing play-by-play for the Massachusetts D1A state championship hockey game on St. Patrick's Day at the TD Garden in Boston. Like all hockey games it was scheduled for three periods. Boston College High and Pope Francis ended up playing into a fourth overtime. The game that was scheduled to last about two hours took about four. I thought I'd be calling three periods. I called seven. The game was always supposed to be that long. We just didn't know it.
We're getting closer to the finish of the book. I'm just hoping to put away the game-winner and avoid another OT.