Thursday, November 29, 2012

Five by Five

I just finished my fifth novel and sent it off to my editor and agent. It's always a strange, freeing moment. Not that it's done. The way I work (I'm guessing it's not the same for all authors) is this: I write a book, with a pen (or two or three. They always run out), into lots of notebooks. I generally write the first chunk of chapters and let it simmer a bit. Then I read those chapters and continue writing until I finish the book. I type up what I have written, making small changes along the way. When that's finished, I print it up and reread it with a pretty-colored pen (I like pink because it shows up well against the black ink). I make changes to words and typos, and add or change things as necessary. Then I type in those changes, and that's when I send it away. So after today, whenever my editor or agent read the book, it will be the first time someone else's eyes see it.

That's the scary part.

How much will they want me to change? What will they like? Will they think it's funny? IS it funny? This last book was sort of a doozy of un-funniness for me. So will fans of my previous books like it? Do I have fans, or just random people who read my books? Being an author is so weird. The only time it really makes sense is when I'm visiting a school or at a conference and there are actual teenagers for me to talk to. I wish that was a more frequent occurrence. I find it harder to get into local high schools, since most don't seem to have author visits. Middle schools are great for author visits, but my books have too many swears. And this new one has sex. I can't help it. It's what comes out when I write. So the big question is: now that this book is finished, or almost finished, what comes next??? Besides, you know, watching Magic Mike and eating felafel.

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