These past days I’ve been working passionately on The Chocolatier’s wife. In a few moments I will have by passed the 40,000 mark, which, considering that I started this during Christmas break (I can’t quite remember…perhaps the 26th of December, but maybe even the thirtieth…) that is really quite good.
And I hope to continue this progress, because I am planning on entering the First Chapters contest. Sort of like, to paraphrase the NYT Books editor, American Idol for books, from now until March 14th authors post the first chapter of a completed book up online. Then everyone who has an Internet connection can vote on it. Then there’s a second and third rounds where the people who get the most votes from each round go on to the next, post a new chapter, wait for votes, and the books that make the final round get read by a judging panel who then chooses the grand prize winner, who walks away with a nice cash prize and a book contract with Simon and Schuster. The rules say that the book may come out in hardcover, and that it will have to come out by February 2008! You know…the Chocolatier’s Wife would be lovely for Valentines Day, now that I think of it, even though it’s sort of set around their Holidays…
I am trying to think of the last time I wanted something so very badly, and keep failing to. I keep thinking of my book being in hardcover. In my day dreams I have colored endpapers and the cover is that silky smooth mat and rich golds and browns that all the really awesome books have.
And, since I am not published, I can take part. I may be under contract, but that does not equal publication according to the rules, so the first time, ever, I’m actually glad my Editor refuses to give me a hard and fast date for publication, no matter what I try and do.
And with Brittany (http://brittany.historygeeks.com/) volunteering to do my cover for Blue Moon (she has marvelous ideas, and her art work is awesome — thank you so much, dear…) this is shaping up to be the best year for me as a writer, ever. I owe her a huge debt of gratitude for wanting to do this, a good book cover is like a nice dress. You know the contents of your soul are worth, but you need something to give you confidence, because people always judge, even if it’s just a little, by how you look.
Even if I don’t win at least this will give me the energy to get a book finished. A goal point. And this book is really wonderful…and I think by now you know me enough to know that I don’t like to compliment myself. I feel uncomfortable, in fact, I just deleted a paragraph where I said i knew I wouldn’t win the contest. Of course, I may not…I am doing this for the fun/craziness of it, and if I make it through a round I can use it for marketing purposes, which will help Blue Moon and Chocolatier’s Wife. But I believe in this book. It is truly a fantastic book, and I think that it has a lot of happiness and pleasure to offer to people. I want people to read it, not for me, genuinely, but because I think they will enjoy it.
So. The book needs to be finished by the end of this month, then edited, second drafted, and edited one last time by March 1, which will give me two weeks leeway.
Wish me luck?