Melva and I are, as of yesterday, officially galley slaves. The galleys for Chasing Prince Charming have landed in our in-boxes, which means the journey from “beach ball” (our code name for the initial stage of this venture) to “actual book” is nearing the home stretch.
This is both exciting and scary. This morning, I opened the file, to have my first look and there they were, our names, our title, our copyrights. This is real. This is happening. There’s the credit for the cover art. We have not yet seen the cover art, but it appears we got our first choice of The Wild Rose Press’ cover artists (and was that ever a hard choice to make) and there are ISBN numbers and everything. There’s the pressure of knowing this is our last, last, last chance to make any changes, spot any errors, because, after this, it is all set in stone. That’s the scary part. What if we miss something big? What if the whole editorial team misses something big? (Not thinking that’s very possible, honestly) What if it actually stinks, and everybody hates us?
Yeah, not thinking that last one is very possible, either. That’s where the exciting part comes into play. On the one hand, we have to go through the whole thing, checking for extra spaces, wandering commas, changing eye colors (I think I found one of those, actually) and other such occupational hazards of the writing life, but on the other hand, we get to read Our Book as an actual book. This is what it’s going to look like when readers who don’t know us in real life, who pick the book up because they want to read Meg and Dominic’s story, are going to see it.
The thought of people out there in the world, willingly exchanging actual monies for what began as two hungry writers waiting for breakfast (truly though, I am sure that applies to many jointly written novels) is enough to make one (or two, in this case) giddy. Nevertheless, we had a special Skype session, to plan out how we’re going to tackle the work, so that we can get it in quickly and accurately. This is actually one of my favorite parts of the process, because it does mean that we are almost at the finish line. I told Melva that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we go through this more quickly than we expect, and she agreed that we probably will.
Though we called the meeting to talk about galley edits, that was pretty straightforward, and so conversation soon turned to Drama King, and Queen of Hearts, which will come after that. We spoke, even, of an as yet untitled other project, with as yet unnamed characters, but somebody (probably the heroine) is going to be a professional organizer (which of course begs that her counterpart be if not a professional mess, close to it.) We batted around a few ideas, including a flash of a scene I’d had. Melva told me she thought she knew how it was going to go, but wanted me to say it anyway. That, of course, was exactly what she had thought, and we can’t wait to get started on that book, as well.
Melva did chide me for being two books ahead, but I reminded her that I’m waiting on delivery of a special binder that will hold only papers pertaining to our jointly written novels. There will be a Chasing Prince Charming section, a section for Drama King, one for Queen of Hearts, and then one for future projects. (Update: binder has arrived, and she is gorgeous, and I will post “baby” pictures once I have her set up with papers and such.) It doesn’t seem at all unusual or scary to think of writing future books with Melva. On the contrary, it feels very natural, and gives me an excuse to natter on Skype with a longtime friend, make up stories that never would have occurred to me, alone, in a million years, and honestly say that I am working. I consider that a pretty sweet deal.
Sp. where does this leave me on the historical romance front? Honestly? More in love with it than ever. I consider that a side effect of the year of “yes, and…” Back when I was a baby reader (and baby writer) I often felt that a historical writer also writing contemporary was a betrayal of sorts. Now, I don’t think that way. If a writer no longer wants to write historical, for any of number of reasons, and contemporary gives them joy, I say go for it. Follow the bliss. For me, that bliss takes me to a place where I want to write all of the books. Know what? I might, at that.