Saturday, June 4, 2011

Triumphant

Where has Stephanie been the last two weeks? Well, I could say that it was because I was out of town last weekend and I forgot to pre-post, which would be true. I could say that I was bearing down on a Friday afternoon deadline yesterday, and didn't have time to shower, let alone post, which would be true.  

But those are only semi-truths. The real truth is that something really amazing was happening for me, and I simply couldn't put my brain anywhere else. 

See, here's the little story. I sold my first book in 2004, and I've sold 25 or so since then. I've written great books and had fun, but underneath it all, it's been tough. I have been striving to become better, better, better, for the writing to become easier, for magic to happen. I was working hard at writing, but I knew that I wasn't there yet. That they had to be something more. I just wasn't tapping into it. 

In January, I took a break from my contracted WIP to write a charming middle grade girl adventure which I adored. It was my first glimpse of writing for the pure joy of it, and it was lovely to write without worrying about selling.  

But then I went back to the contracted book, the grind, trying to make it work and trying to make it right. When I finished it, I had an empty month. A bunch of my personal obligations were over, I was injured and I was facing long days of freedom. So, I decided to write a book for myself. That is when magic happened. The book, the characters, the story, the town, it all came alive for me.  

It took me 17 days to write the book, whereas usually it takes me a few months. I've then spent the last month editing it and watching it bloom as the finishing touches brought it to life. When I finished, I knew that I had created one of those books that authors dream of writing. The one that is literally magic, that will take flight, that will create a life and spirit of its own. I am so proud of myself. The best word to describe my emotions are triumphant. I've had a really tough last three years, personally and professionally, which makes the joy of this book that much more special. 

Thursday morning, my wonderful amazing beta reader (I love you Sharon!) finished my book and sent me this note: "“Holy Feck, that story was m-a-g-i-c-a-l! hands down one of the best romances I have read. I can’t wait till it comes out and I can tell the world about it." And with that moment, I knew that everything I felt about that book was true. It was every bit as beautiful as I felt it was I work up at 4:30 Friday morning and couldn't go back to sleep because I was so excited about finishing the book and sending it to my agent.  

Yesterday afternoon, I sent it off to my agent. She knows I was working on something, but she has no idea what to expect. It's unlike anything I've ever written, and I think she will be blown away. I'm so excited to put this book out into the world. I am so proud of the journey that got me there. I am so grateful for all the struggle I endured, because without being forced to regroup and dig in, I never would have pushed myself to this level. 

So, this morning, I sit here, exhausted from my journey of immersing my soul into this book for two months, but I also sit here with this huge sense of rightness filling me. Because this book has and will continue to change the course of my life. It is that kind of book. 

Today is a beautiful, beautiful day.

5 comments:

Casey said...

Congratulations, Stephanie!

JIllian Hallowell said...

Wow! That is amazing. I hope the book is everything you want it to be and more. I also can't wait to find out more about the magical story. Is is adult romance or middle grade fiction?

Michelle Libby

Barbara E. said...

Congrats Stephanie! I can't wait to hear more about your wonderful new book.

Angie Fox said...

That is so neat, Stephanie. Congratulations!

Sharon said...

awwww! now I am all teary eyed! I had no idea you were able to write that in such a short period of time. That is amazing.

You know how men just love the movie Field of Dreams? Well, this is the equivalent for women. I think it would make a wonderful movie too.

Congrats, Stephanie and I look forward to seeing it in print :) Make sure they use a picture of that most amazing alpha-male ;) (grrrr)