The long absence.

So, um, remember how on January 1 I was all, “I’m going to blog three to five times a week”?

Clearly, that didn’t happen.

But here’s the thing: I have a totally valid excuse reason for this. I had a book to write. A book that was originally due in February, but for which I was given an extension until early- to mid-April. And even then I didn’t hit “The End” until last Sunday.

It’s nearly 63,000 words, making it the longest thing I’ve ever written by a comfortable margin.

I don’t know how much I’m allowed to tell you about this book yet. The whole project has been a little hush-hush. I can tell you that it’s another YA novel. That it features not one, not two, not three, but FOUR first-person female narrators. Oh, and it will be the first book I publish under my married name.

What else can I tell you? I had a lot of fun writing it. A LOT. It’s a juicy, dishy book. It’s pretty different from anything I’ve done previously. It’s the kind of book you’d want to bring with you to the beach. A beach read. But, like, a good one.

It’s also one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write. Not because of the twisty plot and multiple narrators, but because I have a full-time job. I have a really busy full-time job. I wrote my first two and my seventh novels all while working full-time jobs, but with every year my current job grows in responsibility. I manage a team now. I lead a lot of projects. It’s not uncommon for me to put in 45-50 hours at the office in a typical week. Balancing that with a family and sleep doesn’t leave oodles of time for writing.

So the draft went a lot slower than my editor would have liked, though in actuality it still took less than nine months. In the beginning, I was writing in the mornings, 45 minutes to an hour before I’d start to get ready for work. Later, that wasn’t turning out so well, so I started to put in 60-90 minutes in the evenings. But the last month of the draft, I was having better luck on weekends, putting in 3-4 hour chunks at a time.

At any rate, it’s done! When I sent it off to my editor, I almost cried from sheer relief. It’s been a struggle, this one.

And of course the perfectionist in me wanted at least another month to go through the full MS, making it better before anyone’s eyes got on it. But that wasn’t tenable with the time frame. I even told my editor that it was a hot mess first draft (as most first drafts should be), but that I knew that we’d make it great in revision.

When I sent the draft, I figured I’d have at least a week’s worth of breathing room from book stuff. I was wrong. Not two days later I got an email from my editor’s assistant asking me to approve cover copy, write my bio, and let her know if I’m providing a head shot or not. And about ten days before that, she sent me this big, long marketing survey that needs to be completed pronto.

It’s probably authorial suicide to admit this, but I am so very bad at the business part of this business. It just doesn’t interest me. Time and again I wish I could just sit in my Tiffany-blue office, banging out words on the keyboard, and not bother with any of the rest. Self-promotion makes me horribly uncomfortable. And social media is part of my day job, so the last thing I want to do at night is more of that for me.

But the fact is that I am not a good enough or important enough author to say, “No, thanks, I won’t be partaking in these shenanigans.” If anything, I need to be ramping up my shenanigans.

Blech.

Anyway, I swore I wouldn’t take up a lot of space in this blog on navel-gazing nonsense, and here I am, being extra-special naval-gaze-y. So let me stop here before I make the both of us want to wretch.

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