Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Two Sweetest Words in the English Language

Yes, that's right. The end. I finished my book this last weekend. I would have blogged about it Monday, except that was devoted to converting all my Wordperfect 6.2 files into Word for Windows so they could be edited at Silhouette, then copying them all, then sending the snailmail and the email versions to editors and agents.

Then the last two days I wandered around the house feeling a bit disoriented and lost, which is exactly what happens after I finish a book. I don't know where I'm supposed to be, because I"m not in my office sweating blood. I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing, because I don't have a book hanging over my head like the sword of Damocles. Of course, I have the next book already hanging there. I need to start on that by the end of the week, because I want it finished within two months. But for now, I'm actually taking a bit of a breather.

How to describe the actual end of a book you've totally focused on for so long. First of all, I admit that I waste an inordinate amount of time cleaning it up and writing the last three or four pages. First, because I do not have an active brain cell in the linear logic division, and have to clean up my continuity errors(WHAT was that person's name again?) and make sure all my clues are in place for whatever happens later. Second, and the truest, I think, is because no matter how much I struggled over those characters, I've loved them enough to struggle over them in the first place. I've spent the last few months in intimate acquaintance with them. And, to be honest, The End also translates into Good Bye.

I simply hate to send my lovely characters away to someone who might not love them as much as I do. I hate to forfeit the feeling of delight and discovery I've enjoyed when a surprise character shows up(in this newest book, the second of the Daughters of Myth series for Silhouette Nocturne, I was surprised when exactly halfway through the book, a little four-year-old named Lilly made a dramatic entrance, and I fell instantly, madly in love with her. Lilly has Down Syndrome. And as she appeared on the set of my book, I discovered that the world of faerie calls children with Down Syndrome their "Cherished Ones", because nothing is more beautiful to the world of faerie than pure joy; and these children will never lose theirs. In fact, they are the only children who will never be too old to see the fairies). Quite simply, I hate to say goodbye.

But that's what The End is all about. And I'll be able to visit with them in about two months when I get my copy-edit back. And, hopefully, get to talk about them when people read the book. I'll let you know when it's scheduled. Oh, and what it's titled. The title committee's in charge of this one.

Eileen\Kathleen, the evil twins


Lisa said...

Congrats on finishing another book, Eileen! I can't wait to read it. I loved Maggie in A Rose for Maggie so I'm sure I'll love Lilly.

Keep us posted when the title God's have given the book a name.

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