I started Curse of the Black Swan when I was living in my Mom’s attic (no, that wasn’t last year). That was about…ohhh, nine years ago (I’m getting old, it seems). The main character, Nathaniel, was actually a creation from a screenplay of mine called Apache Snow (cool title, bad story).
Anyways, I ported him over to a PBEM (play by Email) we had called Haven (a very cool thing…lasted for about a year)…
I wrote a background character sketch to see what would happen — Nathaniel had to steal five crates of DragonRoot from a thieves guild. That expanded into a novel that I finished sometime around 2000…and I was done.
I edited. Brian was the first reader. He thought Nathaniel whined too much. So I toned down the ‘whining’. He wanted to see more killing. Added more killing.
The women were next: Kari, my sister Kim, and my Mom. I had them read it in sequence, so that each suggestion could be fixed (if necessary) then given to the next person.
Went through the line. I was DONE.
Then, it was accepted for publication by Gardenia. That was back in 2004. I even have a journal entry here about how I was editing away…
You see, I had a bad feeling about Gardenia. Kari remembers how I didn’t sign the contract for 3 months. My head was saying NO but my heart was saying yes. I gave in. Gave in to their editing demands (which I fought against…then finally convinced myself they were right).
Well, Gardenia went belly-up. At the time, it sucked. But once I was over the initial grief, I knew it was for the best. I knew that Gardenia didn’t deserve my book.
Anyways, fast forward to the present…ten years later, and I gave it to Bev and Eileen for critiquing. Well, all those edits I did for Gardenia? Eileen hated them. And I didn’t blame her. They were awful.
So back I went, changing them, spending HOURS with Curse. So I’m now editing the edits. And tonight, I finished. Which means I’m done. No more.
Ten years later, Curse of the Black Swan (formerly Nathaniel) is finished. Tomorrow, it goes out to Daw.