www.marilynbrant.com

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Manuscripts, Page Proofs & Publicity...oh, my!

If I've seemed to be hanging around only the fringes of the Internet lately and a little less than on top of things when I've been here, it's largely due to the three projects above. It's been an "interesting" (read: exhausting, thrilling and somewhat nerve-wracking) week. I'll explain.

Last night--at 2am--I finished the semi-final draft of my second women's fiction novel for Kensington (the title is still pending editorial approval, but I've thought up a number of really bizarre ones :). After nine months of working almost constantly on this manuscript, it's a relief to see it mostly done. There are still a couple of pages of dialogue needed in the ending scene, but I know my process, and I can't write the very last words these characters say until I'm pretty sure of all that's come before. Meaning, I'll need at least one more set of revisions before I'm comfortable doing that.

Also, on Friday afternoon, I got my page proofs for According to Jane. This was exciting--AND scary. I had expected the excitement. I had not expected the bolt of fear. Fascinating, though, to see something I'd dreamed up now dressed in this formal, ultra-polished state. It's like the manuscript is going to prom... It's typeset, just as it'll appear in the real book, and every tiny detail I'd included in my final draft--every chapter number, every Austen quote, every phrase set in italics--is right there, looking frighteningly perfect. Not a hair curl out of place. And, oh, did I mention the proofs need to be checked and returned by next week?

Then there's the publicity train, which never seems to stop moving. I've been floored by how kind so many people have been to me already--fellow authors, interviewers, bookstore managers, countless individuals online and off--and how willing they are to share advice and give support. (Thank you!!) But, man, is there a LOT to learn, and trying to "stay balanced" amidst the many roles I'm attempting to play has sent me back to my old t'ai chi practicing, a healthy exercise offset by my rather large doses of medicinal caramel-filled chocolate :).

So, yes, it's been interesting here... What's been going on for all of you??

15 comments:

Maria Geraci said...

Seeing your manuscript in near final form is both unnerving and exciting. I was so afraid I would miss something or muss it up. It's like you need a shot of whiskey for fortitude before you start!
Congrats on finishing that first draft! It's not till the editing stage that I really *know* my book:)

Leshia Stolt said...

Hooray for not just one book but TWO!! I just can't wait! :-)

Marilyn Brant said...

Maria~the process of fully knowing the book only once we reach the editing stage is definitely true for me, too. I learn a lot through revision...which is good because I need lots of it... BTW, I had not thought of swigging a little whiskey before page-proof reading, but you may be on to something!! (And thanks so much for all the advice and encouragement, too. :-)

Thanks, Lesh!!! It's a little easier to start getting excited about the second one now that I've finally got the endgame in sight on that draft! For a while, I wasn't sure when I'd ever finish that thing...

Pamala Knight said...

Hooray for the second manuscript!!! I'm breathless with anticipation for According to Jane to bow and I'm sure you are too.

Congratulations on getting through the editing process. It sounds like seeing the finish line has been a good way to help you focus. The only problem with your focus is that it's sequestered you from me (boo!) so hopefully once you're done, I can steal you away for a bit. (yay!). LOL.

Again, I'm so thrilled for you.

Robin said...

Yay on book two, Marilyn! Every time I pop over here to your blog, I just grin from ear to ear. Reading about all the exciting things going on with you brightens my days and I can't wait to read ALL of your books!

Hang in there with all the craziness and know I'm rooting for you every step of the way! (And sending virtual chocolate.) ;)

Vesper said...

Marilyn, this is such an exciting time for you and I'm so glad that you share it with us!
Bravo for the second book!
You'll get used to this! :-) :-) :-)

Marilyn Brant said...

Pamala~Thank you...I cannot wait to be stolen away :). My husband was saying last night, "So, you're almost done, right? We'll actually get to *see* you this summer?"

Thanks, Robin! You KNOW how I love chocolate! (And "virtual" is so much better for my hips and thighs. :-)

Vesper, thank you so much! I don't know if I'll ever get used to it, but I sure hope I learn to be better at doing it!!

Pamela Cayne said...

Congrats, congrats, congrats!!! This book is going to be fabulous, and I cannot WAIT to hear the title suggestions!

Whee!!!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Congrats!! *jumping up an ddown for you*

I bet there are some fun and bizzare names for book two-the mind is so wonderful at 2 a.m...

One word of advice-don't sweat the promotional stuff-there really is too much to do for book one-make a list of everything and prioritize-if you get two or three done you are ahead of the curve. Trust me on this.

As they say, Rome wasn't built in a day. ;) cheers!

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks, Pam :). My title ideas started to veer toward the very strange and inappropriate, giving away key plot twists in the process... Fun, but probably not too productive of an exercise!

Nancy, thanks so much. Your advice is very welcome and perfectly sound. I keep trying to remind myself that it's impossible to get everything right on this, and that I need to let go of any promo venture that is headache-inducing or causes me to lose even more sleep. Your plea to prioritize is right on target...

Ann Victor said...

How absolutely thrilling and wonderful this time must be for you, Marilyn! Enjoy it to the fullest! :):)

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks, Ann!! (Though, honestly, it's often as terrifying as it is thrilling :-)

Hope you all have a great weekend!!

L.A. Mitchell said...

By the time I get to all this, you'll be such a practiced veteran. I'm so proud of you!! Can't wait to get my hot little hands on them both :)

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks, L.A. :) Looking forward to being there as you start all of this...I know it'll be soon!!

Nadine said...

Hi Marylin - congrats! I can't believe I missed the announcement! So much news - you finished your WIP... I'm so jealous! When will you tell us what it's about?