Monday, December 29, 2014

Lettin’ Go is Hard to Do

I've had the first draft of CYBER ONE, the second book in the Miles Stevens series, completed for some time.  I originally thought I’d get it self-published and onto the Amazon shelves before Christmas, filling the demand for a holiday cyber-terrorism spy novel.  Well, the ball is dropping on 2014, and I still don’t think it’s ready.  But do most authors ever think their novels are ready?

This is my fifth book.  Writing, editing, and publishing my books are all under my control.  The only exception is that my wife, a former newspaper editor, takes the final pass at my manuscripts.  Editors by their nature are difficult to control, but an editor who’s also your wife is impossible to control.  However, it isn’t editing that’s delaying publication of my books.   It’s more a matter of me not wanting to let them go. 

To me, publishing a book isn’t much different than having a teenaged son or daughter about to get their driver’s license. You get one chance to make sure your child is ready.  Once they get their license and the keys to the car, it’s too late.  Likewise, once the final manuscript of a novel is turned over to the publisher, or in my case submitted to CreateSpace, it, too, is out there on the streets.  All it takes is the wrong use of they’re, their, there, an overused phrase, or a poorly developed character, and the book becomes inferior in the readers’ eyes--or worse, they post a review, magnifying the error.  Even if I do make changes and publish revisions, some readers will have already seen the initial product and formed opinions which will be hard to change. 

As I sit with the CYBER ONE manuscript ready for publication, I just know that one more pass will find something that’s been overlooked.  It’s almost like the ghost of my high school composition teacher, Ms. Hyde, is sitting on my shoulder, threatening me with a C- unless I tighten it up one more time.  

Ms. Hyde is right.  My novel isn’t ready for the streets.  I’m not letting go until I’m damn good and ready.

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