The Realm Below: Coming Soon(-ish) to a Bookstore Near You!

Posted by:
Susan Rooke
August 2, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great pleasure and a fragile hold on reality that I inform you that, by the time you read this post, Book 2 in the Space Between series will be in the editing phase. A few minutes ago I finished typing “STILL NOT THE END” at the bottom of page 245 and sent the manuscript of The Realm Below: The Rise of Tanipestis off to Glen for printing. And now, just as it did before The Space Between was published, it’s dawning on me that the writing is the easy part.

Oh, sure, there’s no question that writing is hard. Over the past weeks of intense work and terrible sleep patterns, my mind has suffered a catastrophic failure and my brain would fit in a teaspoon (how’s this? I just typed “catastrotic” and it looked perfectly fine to me). But that’s nothing compared to the work that’s looming in the coming months. There’s still a long road ahead to get this book published. And judging by my emotional state last time, I expect I’ll have two or three nervous breakdowns along the way. (Some of you readers out there have also published books in the last year or two. I’d love to hear how the process affected you.) Here are the steps that come next (and I might have missed some):

1. Starting as soon as I finish this blog post, I read the printed manuscript for consistency, continuity, loose ends, etc.
2. I start again at the beginning with the document on my laptop, doing a line-by-line edit, correcting typos, simplifying sentence structure and fixing any problems I found in step 1. This of course means I’m rereading it.
3. I email the manuscript to The Daughter. Katie is my first outside editor, reading for all the same issues that I have supposedly addressed already in steps 1. and 2. She never fails to find things I’ve missed.
4. While Katie is busy doing that, I’ll reread The Space Between to be certain I haven’t introduced inconsistencies or contradictions in the sequel. And not for the first time, I will tear my hair out and ask myself why I thought it was a good idea to write a series.
5. Katie emails her suggestions to me, we argue over some of them and I make the necessary adjustments.
6. I email the manuscript to the insightful and indomitable Mindy Reed, the first of my editors at the wonderful The Authors' Assistant, my editorial/promotional firm. She does the developmental edit.
7. At some point I send my cover artist, the very talented Heidi Dorey, a representative chapter so that she can begin working up some cover designs.
8. I get the manuscript back with Mindy’s suggestions, reread it and make the necessary adjustments.
9. I email the manuscript back to The Authors’ Assistant for the first of two rounds of copy editing.
10. By now I’ve suffered major hair loss and catastrotic failures of important organs due to sheer boredom with the material, but nevertheless I get the manuscript back, reread it and make the necessary adjustments.
11. I begin meeting often with my publicist, the indispensable Danielle Hartman Acee (also of The Authors’ Assistant), who has a winning smile and the courage and ferocity of a tiger. Which is good, because I’m a complete wimp. She formats the manuscript for e-book and maps out a battleplan to send the book [irony alert!] rocketing into the bestseller stratosphere. We choose and finalize the cover design, do something or other I can’t recall with the Library of Congress, settle on a publication date and get the printer to whip me up a proof copy to check for any last-second glitches. And I . . . will . . . reread . . . it. Even if it kills me.
12. And then, so help me, I start writing Book 3 in the series. Brain or no brain. Whew.

It's coming. Eventually.

22 comments on “The Realm Below: Coming Soon(-ish) to a Bookstore Near You!”

  1. So very proud of you, Susan! Can't wait to get my hands on it. I'm suppose to learn time management this Fall, so maybe I can finally prioritize some reading time into my schedule! Remember, when you get frustrated, get up and walk away for a breather.
    You have no idea what big of an influence you have become in my life. Thank you, and stay strong.

    1. Thank you, Elvira! Your encouragement and support (and sensible advice) always mean so much to me. I feel stronger just reading your comment! <3

    1. I'll be THRILLED to giveyou giveyou giveyou, Daughter! Just give me a few days to finish the first reading and edit. Then I get to reread Book 1!

  2. omg. so much yet to do and all your fans have to do is read the wonderful results of your hard work
    Good job! looking forward to reading it.

    1. Thank you so much, Susan!! Looking at the list kind of intimidates me, but one step at a time and I can get it done!

  3. I think you *may* have left out a few re-re-readings. Or possibly some additional post-re-re-reading re-readings. Also the I’m Never Reading This Again/Post Release Happy Dance.

    Congrats—can’t wait to read it!

    1. Hahahahahaha!! Isn't novel publishing FUN?? Are you sure you don't want to turn The Golden Feather into a series, Diana? It's a great way to put off that I'm Never Reading This Again Happy Dance virtually forever! Actually, now that I think about it, a Golden Feather series sounds like a great idea. Easy for me to say, but I enjoyed the book so much that I'd love to see you do that. You know, in your spare time. 😉

      Thank you so much for all your support! I'm started to get excited now! <3

  4. I'm looking forward to reading it Susan!

    I'm falling apart trying to write book 2 in my series. It's like pushing a boulder up hill and it keeps rolling back down to flatten me.

    1. Thank you, Salina, I'm looking forward to reading your book 2 too! I'm really sorry to hear that writing it's a struggle right now, but I know you'll get a handle on that boulder. I can certainly empathize, though. There were too many days like that with my book 2. I still don't know how it got done. Maybe elves came and wrote it during the night while I slept. The thought of starting book 3 is terrifying! I'll just have to take a deep breath and dive in.

  5. Dear Susan, my heartfelt congratulations! You are such a methodical writer. I will certainly read your part 2.

    Best wishes.


    1. Thank you, Amy!! I finished the first reading of the manuscript last night. Today begins my first edit!!

  6. Wonderful news! Congratulations! I hope you took some time to put your feet up and toast your process and your progress. May it all continue to fall smoothly into place, and may your brain be zen.

    1. Thank you, thank you, Claire!! A zen brain would be nice. I'm toasting right now, though, so maybe that'll help! 😉

    1. Thank you, Carie!! 🙂 That's great advice about something I forget all too often. Lately I feel as if I'm chained to my desk! (If only it were cooler, though.)

  7. I've been wondering when it would be done - I can't wait to read it - I still have the first draft in the enormous binder, its been saved and moved numerous times. Timing is perfect for a good fall reading, starting with a reread of book one so I can roll right into book 2. Book 2 WOW !!!! So proud of your accomplishment. Still your biggest fan.

    1. Oh, Denise, I'm so glad to hear from you! And so happy to know you're looking forward to book 2! I can't wait to get it into your hands. It's changed a lot from that first draft. The bones are still there, but now they've got meat on them. I'm still working on the first edit, but I hope to send it to Katie by the end of this week.

      I love you!! Thank you for always being there for me!!

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