As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I’ve just signed a contract with an independent Portland publisher called RainTown Press for a series of paranormal YA books called The Devil’s Throne. The first book will be worked over from now until June or so, aiming for a Spring 2013 release date. The second book in the series is scheduled for Fall 2013, and the final installment in Fall 2014.
This is my debut novel–and to have the publisher take it on as a three-book series, well, I’m a pretty lucky girl. I’ll have the opportunity to sketch out an epic, an opera of unexpected twists, turns, and big reveals. That will be awesome. But in some ways, it’s also totally terrifying. I’m glad to have an editor to help me keep track of all the threads, and make sure they tie up neatly at the end.
One interesting hurdle so far has been learning that the acquisitions editor who chose my story and convinced the press to pick me up may not be involved in the actual editing-to-publish process. My new editor is a jack-of-all-trades type, who confessed to me that girl books (mine is undoubtedly a girl book) are not usually his cup of tea. He sees it as a challenge, and I see it as an opportunity to have the story critiqued by an “outsider” of the genre. By the same token, though, I’m paralyzed by the thought of his reaction. Will he hate it? Will he second-guess the decision to pick up my book?
All I can say is that I’m glad to have a contract behind me now. I can focus on making the book the best it can be, without worrying about whether my first chapter will be good enough to hook an agent or a publisher. I can finally think long and hard about the series as a whole, finish my draft of the third book, and start a dialogue with someone who knows how it will all end. Nobody knows that yet except for me, and that knowledge has been burning a hole through my chest.
But knowing there is so much work ahead–when I’ve put The Devil’s Throne aside and started writing other novels outside the series, started thinking about ebooks and self-publishing and literary agents–I’m also full of trepidation. I pray that we don’t have to rewrite sections of the book. I hope that we can find a great cover artist. There are so many ifs, it’s a bit painful to think about when I once believed my days after signing the contract would feel more final.
I know there are a million other debut authors making a splash in the YA genre this coming year, and I can’t help but wonder what their experience was with the editing process. Any tips? Best practices? Suggestions for keeping sane? I’ll be waiting.