That's what she said
featuring my first feedback on Happy Endings
These weekend posts, a glimpse behind the scenes as I write a new novel - more than one new novel! I never learn! - are for paid subscribers.
If you are a paid subscriber - thank you! I appreciate it. If not, I would love it if you would consider upgrading. It costs just over £1 a week (less if you go for an annual subscription!)
If you would like a paid sub but can’t afford one, email me and I’ll sort you out.
Like I said in Tuesday’s post, I got to the end of my draft and sent it to a friend to read. She very kindly read it quickly and then I asked her for some feedback over WhatsApp. And then I asked if I could share our conversation here and she said yes. Paid subscribers can read it below.
But before I get to that, I’ve been thinking about how writing this particular novel feels different and it’s because I have time. Not as much time as I’d like, because I have to do other things to make money (are you also subscribed to my other Substack? It’s about money and it’s called The Ladybird Purse), but possibly more than I’ve had since I got my first book deal in…
~~~ wibbly time thing ~~~
Okay, so I couldn’t remember when I got my first deal. I know the book came out in 2010, but when did I actually get the deal?
First I unearthed my old blog (no longer online), because I obviously I posted about it. Couldn’t find the post, but did notice that I started writing that blog in February 2003, which is somehow more than twenty years ago, so obviously now I have to go back and read it all. I’ll stick that on my to do list.
Then I searched my Gmail and finally found an email I’d sent to my lovely friend Sarah Painter (read her interview on The Ladybird Purse!) telling her I’d got an offer. It was 8 April 2008. Bloody hell.
~~~ end of wibbly time thing ~~~
So. Since then, I think I’ve been lucky enough to be writing under contract. Or at least with a publisher/editor in mind. And so time has been limited. There was research I wanted to do, stuff I wanted to include, but I wasn’t able because there wasn’t time.
I recently had the startling (yet, obvious) revelation that you can keep doing another draft and (hopefully!) improving the book each time. I haven’t had that luxury in the past; when the deadline arrived, the book was done.
And of course I’d like to finish Happy Endings sooner rather than later. Because a) I need the money (obviously I know there’s no guarantee it will sell); and b) there’s other things I have to get on and write. But it does feel good to know that I can continue researching and hopefully keep improving it.
(I am partway through a book called Seven Drafts - I’ve been reading it between each new draft - and I’m finding it really helpful.)
Anyway, onto Rachael’s feedback…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial