Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tiny Notes on the Sequel

Today I've got very little for the blog. I'm impatient to start my real work, the work on my sequel to The War That Saved My Life. (Until about a week ago, the sequel had a title. It doesn't anymore. I'm lousy at titles.)

The thing is, I thought I was mostly finished with this one. If you met me on my October book tour, right after I turned in the latest revision, you heard me say that I thought we were headed to copyediting. I continued with this rosy point of view until December 15, when, right before leaving town for the holidays, my lovely persistent editor suggested I try a little harder. Again.

I throw myself small funerals on these occasions, and my family unites to tell me to get over it. The problem is, they are right. Though I thought most of my books were as good as I could possibly get them when they were published--and they were, at the time--I'd love to go through some most of them again, with what I know now.

(So far, the only change I'd make to TWTSML is swapping "tinned" beans for "canned" beans. That was a miss. Yes, we used some American words in place of British ones, as a deliberate choice for an American audience. But "canned" beans was just a miss.)

Anyway, it's not a bad thing, to improve with age. On Saturday evening my husband threw me a blowout party to celebrate the ALA awards. He did all the work, nearly every little thing; I actually spent most of Saturday foxhunting. (We chased a coyote, them being more prevalent in these parts.)  It was an epic day in all ways, not excluding a quiet morning on the drive to the hunt, just me in my big roaring truck, when I found the one line I needed to make the sequel sing.

I won't tell you, of course. I sent my editor an email, but she was celebrating MLK Jr Day and hasn't responded yet. It doesn't matter. We might not be all the way there, but we're getting closer.