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Timeline, stuff, more

I saw this post and found myself nodding in agreement as I read it. I'm sure every author, at one time or another, has seen a comment about their book that says something like, "This is clearly a ripoff of ________!" When I see that, I shrug, remind myself that readers are entitled to their opinion, and move on. But Carrie's timeline got me pondering the timeline of the Night Huntress series, and how long it took from conception to publication. So for kicks, here's the breakdown of events.
May 2003: Had dream about a half-vampire woman arguing with a full vampire man. The male vampire was mad that the female half-breed had left him years before. She still loved him, but never thought it could work between them. Woke up and kept wondering who those people were and what had brought them to that place. Started to write just to answer those questions to myself.
August 2003: Finished novel. Never completed a book before in my life. Was so excited, but hadn't even gotten to the part in the dream yet where the half-breed and the full vampire were arguing. Immediately started second book in the series.
December 2003: Finished second book. Had become writing addict, much to my husband's confusion (not his fault; he'd listened to fourteen years of procrastination before this). Still had head teeming with ideas and plot for more with these characters. Started third book.
April 2004: Finished third book. Husband began to nag about all the time I spent writing more in the series without even shopping the first novel. Decided he had a point. Started researching how to get published while starting book number four, because these characters wouldn't leave me alone.
August - September 2004: Started to query first book. Got slew of rejections. Decided to show novel to a friend to get a critical opinion. Got critical opinion. Ignored ALL suggestions while feeling that my book was still perfect.
September - October 2004: Racked up more rejections. Decided novel might not be perfect after all. Started revising. Sent out more queries.
November 2004: An agent offered representation! Yay! Took representation.
November 2004 - April 2005: Spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on "representation" before realizing I'd been scammed. Fired agent. Felt like a fool, considered giving up. Still tinkered on book four and revised book one. Decided to go back into the query trenches.
April 2005 - August 2005: Queried multiple agents and small presses. Got mostly rejections, but some requests for fulls.
August 2005: Received publication offer from small press (no advance, tiny print run) and a request to resubmit if revisions were made from an agent. Agonized over what to do. Decided to say no to small press and revise novel to increase external plot.
August 2005 - October 2005: After three more revisions, agent offered representation, but couldn't shop novel until she moved to another agency at beginning of following year. Decided to accept representation and wait for submission until 2006.
January - February 2006: Paperwork processed with new agency, novel went on submission mid-February.
May 18th, 2006: Two book deal accepted from Avon/HarperCollins. Much rejoicing!
October 2006 - March 2007: Minor revisions, copyedits, cover art, and galley proofs, oh my! 
August 2007: ARC's (advance reading copies) went out to reviewers/booksellers.
October 30th, 2007: HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE, book one in the series, hit the shelves.
Let's see, that's about four years and six months from initial idea to having a novel hit the shelves. Kinda short as far as the publication process goes, actually. As a side note, since my first book came out, I ended up completely scrapping my third book, finishing the fourth book, starting the fifth book, writing five short stories for publication, writing my first "spin off" book in the series, revising book four to make it book three, completing book five (which, since book three was dumped, turned out to be Night Huntress book number four), and now I'm in the process of writing my second "spin off" book, which is slated to release sometime later next year.
So what started out as a dream that nagged me to answer the questions it brought up turned into what's now my career as an author. And while that initial dream might have happened overnight, nothing else after that did, lol.

Speaking of book four in the Night Huntress series, I'm thrilled to say that DESTINED FOR AN EARLY GRAVE is holding on to the New York Times printed list in its second week out at #19, and is also still in the top 100 of the USA Today bestseller list at # 91. Way to keep the support for Cat and Bones going, readers! 
And speaking of that second spin-off book, back to writing it! Oh, but before I go, here's an article where I talk about the "current" paranormal trend. Note my quotes around current, because as I explain in the article, I don't think the paranormal trend is anything new ;-)


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 13th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
How true your article is!

And you weren't alone. My Mum introduced me to the horror genre back when I was still watching the Disney Princess movies and I have since been a huge horror fan. But you're right – the supernatural subject matter of novels, TV series and movies isn't anything new. It just seems that "everyones at it" now. But some have a bit more style than others and are able to hold onto their readers with kick-ass characters ;D

Like you.
Aug. 13th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing all this :)
Aug. 13th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
it all starts with a dream! :D
Aug. 13th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
Dream a little dream for me....
haha my sister laughs at all of my wierd and wonderful dreams... She reluctently listens to them but always tells me how they could be better or how they could have ended (because i can never rememeber how they end :P). So most of my note books are filled with some very wierd but very funny dreams.

I really hope i can one day choose one of my dreams and turn it into a novel. Like You have. :D

And no joke... I dont think books about the supernatural are anything brand spanking new lolz.

thank you for sharing and i will deffo watch out for scam artists.

Hugs and Loves,
Aug. 13th, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing and after reading I'm reminded of something an author said. Was it Asimov? Bradbury? "There are no original idea. Meaning our experiences are grouped from all we experience, see, and dream. 2 people can have a similar idea but only one acts on it. Many stories of the Bible can be taken changed altered and whola a new twist.

All it takes is a dream and the desire to act on it. I know I've dreamed of many ideas and until 2 years ago I never acted on it. Now I'm acting. Rejections yes, but the dream is there.

I think your twist on Vampires and the organization of Vampires is super.. And I've love all the characters. And the short stories have been great and you can bet I'll be at the book store to get your books the day they come out...

I grew up on Hammer Films, and history of the real Dracula, watched all I could on Big Foot, vampires, werewolves and other things that go bump in the night. My kids were raised on repeats of Hammer, local and new Horror films, Fantasy films, and sci-fi..

So KEEP UP the good work and know you have fans that will bang down the doors of the local book store to get your latest. :)

Hugs and Love ya
Aug. 14th, 2009 03:02 am (UTC)
So glad you didn't give up! It takes a special person to be able to edit down ideas and dreams down to a cohesive story to share with others. Your books bring a lot of joy, thanks for writing them!
Aug. 14th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
Aug. 14th, 2009 08:11 am (UTC)
I FINALLY got the book! Love it so far! (like only 4 chapters in. I like to savor it, not read through it like a bulldozer with one thought *gotta get to the end*, that's just not me)
Aug. 15th, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
"Current" paranormal trend...HA! I read my first REAL paranormal book when I was 10. It was Brahm Stoker's Dracula...have been addicted ever since. From there I moved on to Anne Rice...so on and so forth. Even before that...late elementary school into early middle school. I was reading teen horror...the random R.L. Stine books. I think that started when I was around 7 or 8. Here I am...27 years old and still reading them. That's one hell of a long lived trend!
Eden Boudreau
Apr. 21st, 2017 10:15 pm (UTC)
Love this!
This is an extremely helpful breakdown of what it's like to try and have a book published. I have one question though, as I am a writer in a very similar position as yours before you became published:
How did you contribute to your household income while writing?
Nothing specific of course. But I'm struggling with how to work enough to help with bills, while still have enough time (and energy) to write.
Any advice?
Thank you!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )