In March of 2011, I started writing a book. I worked on it in bits and pieces, stealing scraps of time when my one-year-old was napping and my four-year-old was in preschool. Mostly, I wrote it at night, between the hours of 10pm and 2am, when the rest of my house was asleep.
I finished that first draft in four months. I paid someone to read it, before I had any CPs. I rewrote it, changing my main character from 14 to 17, and the point of view from third to first.
I found CPs. I let them read it. They ripped it apart.
I rewrote it again. I changed the tense from past to present. I rewrote it. Again.
We went to the beach. I wrote. My kids had birthday parties and classroom parties and tea parties in their rooms. I wrote. My parents spent Saturdays here, helping out. I wrote. Laundry piled up. I wrote.
And then Spencer Hill Press offered to publish it. We decided to make that book into a trilogy. I went through five rounds of rewrites/edits, each one ending in a teary phone call to my super patient editor because I wasn’t going to make the deadline (I have yet to actually make a deadline) and I absolutely HATE feeling like I’m letting people down (each time, she talked me off the ledge and helped me keep moving.)
I spent January 2013-November 2013 writing that book. I joke about how I don’t remember anything that happened in 2013 that wasn’t book-related. Except it’s not a joke. I have very little memory of my daughter’s swim team season last year, or of her last semester of kindergarten/first semester of 1st grade. I am the absolute worst at work-life balance.
My book advance was a quarter of what I used to make in a month working full-time. My royalties aren’t going to be enough to live off of. If you break down what I will make off this book into an hourly wage based on the number of hours I worked on it from the day I wrote that first scene to the day my editor said, “It’s finished” …..never mind, I can’t even think about that. It’s laughable.
This is not a cry for sympathy of any sort. I love this book. I’m thrilled that it’s being published. I’m so excited for people to read it. Holding my book in my hands is worth everything I’ve put into it.
Or go to your local library.
If you download my book for free, don’t misunderstand–it’s not just a free file you’re downloading off the internet. That’s my book you’re stealing. Just because you pay money to belong to a site that allows you to download copyrighted material for free, don’t assume that your money is being spent to pay for those books. The ads on those sites do not pay for those books. You are stealing. It’s piracy. It’s illegal. Don’t do it.