Today marks the beginning of a new book project for me. This book is the second for my Zondervan contract and will release April 2011. So weird to think how long it takes for the whole process, eh? And what's really nuts is that starting this book will mean I have three books in process at one time. Oi! How my brain keeps them all straight, I don't know, especially considering how few other things I can keep track of in life. I guess my plots and characters are taking up all the space and crowding out all the day-to-day stuff. :)
This month I'll be working on the research and snowflake for the book. If you've been reading my blog for the last few years, then you know how much I loathe research. I used to love it in college. Now, not so much. I just want to get to the story! But this one is going to take some serious work to get certain parts of it right, and the only thing I hate more than research is having someone read my book and point out all the mistakes I made. I'll do the research after I've done the snowflake, since I'd rather get all the research done at once, and once the snowflake is done I should have figured out all the things I need to learn and verify. I actually started working on the snowflake last month--Dan bought me a Treo (my first ever cool phone--usually I get the "free with a two year contract" piece of junk) and I've been writing the first three steps in the memo program. And this time I'm going to augment the character-building steps with some of the character-building questions I learned in the "My Book Therapy" session at the ACFW conference.
As I did last year with The Weight of Shadows, I'll be using National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) in November to start the actual draft. I'm already registered, already changed my home region to Denver, and am hopeful that I might get to actually join some fellow NaNoWriMoers at a local writing meetup.
NaNoWriMo should get me at least 50,000 words into the draft if I stay disciplined, which means I'll have December to finish it up. Last year I stuck with my 1667 words a day (that's what you write every day during NaNoWriMo) and finished it in plenty of time; this year I'm hoping for the same, although my brother and his awesome wife Kelli will be here for a few days at Christmas, so I may find myself playing catch-up that last week of the month.
January I'll put the thing away, cleanse my head of the story, and dive into the snowflake for book number two of my David C. Cook contract. I actually started the snowflake for that one already, too, back when that was going to be the book I worked on this month. Then in February I'll print out this book, do my own editing, and then send it in March 1 to editor extraordinaire, Sue Brower. Five months and voila! A book!
In other news...
If you're not a subscriber to my newsletter, then you might not know that The Weight of Shadows is available on Amazon for pre-order. I hope you'll consider placing an order--I would really love to see the thing hit their best-seller chart the day it releases, a totally doable goal if folks take advantage of the pre-order feature. If you're willing to do that, may I suggest signing up for my newsletter first, so you can enter the contest I'm running when you place your order? Just sign up in the field to the right, and you'll get an email with a link to the current newsletter that describes the contest. It's a multi-layered contest, with the first ten pre-orderers getting a free book and all the orderers between now and April 1 getting a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to your favorite book store. After the book is released, another contest will start...but again, only newsletter subscribers are eligible! (The letter is bi-monthly, and not that long; you're not going to get inundated with mail, I promise.)
Well, at this rate, today is going to be a day of talking about research and plotting, and not actually doing any of it. Not good. Time to get to work!