We’ve Got to Stop Meeting Like This

Posted by:
Susan Rooke
August 31, 2017

Before I begin, I’d like to tell all of you about two blog posts from my friends Diana Conces and Carie Juettner. They’ve each written a thoughtful essay in the wake of the calamitous Hurricane Harvey. Diana’s “The Strangeness of Safety” is a poignant memorial to the South Texas Gulf Coast the way it used to be before Harvey transformed it—perhaps forever—into something unrecognizable. Carie’s post, “Be the Rubber Band,” is a meditation on the search for meaning in the mundane, and for peace while the world around us spins into chaos. These women are gifted poets and writers. Diana was my guest blogger September 2016 with her post “Inside the Brown Bag." Their words written in the wake of the storm moved me, and I want to share them with you. Here are the links:

Diana Conces "The Strangeness of Safety"

Carie Juettner "Be the Rubber Band"

And now I have an announcement, Dear Readers. This will be my last weekly post for the next few months. (And by the way: To everyone who didn’t receive the Thursday afternoon email last week, I apologize. No idea why some of those blog notifications went out late or not at all. The Ether moves in mysterious ways.) But I promise it’s for a good reason. Monday, September 4th, I’m observing Labor Day by resuming work on the second book in The Space Between series. And I can’t tell you how much it thrills me to say that. (It also scares the pants off of me a little.)

The first book, The Space Between: The Prophecy of Faeries, will be released on September 12th. That seems like a small miracle, considering what it took to get to this point. Before I embarked on this adventure, I had no idea how much work goes into prepping a manuscript for publication. Turns out it was a lot, but it was doable. There were the edits:

• by me
• by the developmental editor
• me again
• by the first copy editor
• me again
• by the final copy editor
• me again
• a last, close scrutiny by the final copy editor
• and me . . . AGAIN

It was all meant to craft the book into its best possible self, and to catch any remaining typos/errors. But even then it wasn’t done. After that came the proofing: of the print copy, the e-copy, and then the re-proofing of both when The Daughter threw a monkey wrench into the final 10 pages (see August 17th’s post, “The Space Between: NOW It's Done").

I estimate that in the past sixteen months alone I’ve reread that book at least six times. And that doesn’t count all the times I reread it while doing prior revisions in the previous 10.75 years. (Yes, I’m keeping track. Can’t help it.)

But, as I say, it was doable. Then it came time to promote the book. And this is the part that took me by horrified surprise. Start a Facebook page? Open a Twitter account? But I did that already! What do you mean, that’s not enough? I’m making great promotional strides here!

Oh, how naïve I was. There’s much more to promotion than that. So much that I can’t even hold it all in my head at once. (Probably because I’ve got at least fourteen versions of The Space Between in there.) I tried to keep it all straight, but it was like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. At that point I just kind of threw up my hands and said, “I can’t do this!” Danielle Hartman Acee, wearer of many hats at The Authors' Assistant, saved my bacon. Again. Thank you, Danielle, for your amazing promotional skills!

And now we arrive at the end of August, and this, my 70th blog post. Summer is creeping along towards fall. It seems like an auspicious time to shift my focus back to writing fiction. Next Monday I’ll return to writing The Realm Below: The Rise of Tanipestis. (That’s the working title. It’s been tweaked a couple of times. This one feels like it should stick, though.) I’m 87,000 words in already, which I call a good start. I’m excited to share little bits and pieces of it with you in the coming months.

Pretty soon my characters will begin speaking to me in dreams again. They’ll give me news of themselves, they’ll judge me, they’ll praise my intuitions, they'll condemn my inevitable shortcomings. There will be some I’ve never heard from before, and I look forward to cultivating relationships with them.

So, to allow them the freedom they require to set up housekeeping in my subconscious again, I have a proposal for you. I’ve enjoyed our assignations these past 70 weeks very much. Let’s please continue them. With one small change. Could we meet every other week instead?

I’ll be here if you will . . .

12 comments on “We’ve Got to Stop Meeting Like This”

  1. Wonderful post it was fun reading all of your blog posts. Thank you. Saddle up and get number two done. Proud of you!!!

  2. Aww, thank you for linking to my post! That was so sweet! 🙂 And I can't believe the release date is almost here! AAAA! So exciting! We will miss your weekly blog posts, but you definitely deserve a break! 70 posts??? I can't believe how consistently you've posted and how awesome they all are. I admire you, truly. Best of luck on the fiction writing. My novel is collecting dust again while I grade papers. Oh well. 😉

    1. Oh, Carie, I can't TELL you how long mine's been collecting dust! Oh, wait...I don't have to tell you. You already know, since you just read today's post. (And thank you for all your support!) It takes forEVER, but I hope it'll be worth it. I know yours will be! (You're younger than I am, so you can wait a little longer! ;-)) Much love to you <3. You're doing really important work in the meantime!

  3. Susan, there's no need to tell you that I TOTALLY GET IT!! I came to Danielle Acee with 2 books (that were already written), a book I had just started, then she made me stop writing the current book to write a novella (which I based on the beginning of the A&P WIP). Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, UGH.

    I'm thrilled to hear you're writing The Space Between as a series. I'm doing the same for Angels & Patriots. At least for me, jump starting the second book in the series seems SO much harder than the first book.

    Take a much deserved break from blogging but keep us informed of your progress with the 2nd book.

    P.S. I'm taking The Space Between with me on vacation where I can read it in a relaxed atmosphere without a million distractions! I plan on blogging about it and sharing it on my FB page if that's okay with you.

  4. Boy, I know you get it, Salina, and I am so amazed at how PROLIFIC you are, especially in the face of all the writerly obligations we have these days! I don't know how you do it--I'm a slow writer.

    I'm so happy that Angels & Patriots is going to be a series! I just finished your novel The Shipbuilder a few days ago, coinciding with the worst of Hurricane Harvey. You can imagine the effect your ending had on me (NO SPOILERS HERE) under those circumstances! To be honest, it scared the daylights out of me. (I'd had a similar reaction years ago while reading S. Fowler Wright's novel Deluge.) I loved The Shipbuilder, and I'll have a review written in a couple of days!

    Oh, yes, please. Do blog and share about TSB if you want to. I'd be honored!!

  5. Well, skipping a week will make your posts that much more eagerly anticipated! Enjoy your "labor" day...I hope you can take a few breaks to look for bugs and make some of your famous cocktails!

    And, thanks for linking to my blog post. 🙂

    1. Thank you for writing something so beautiful, Diana. And you enjoy your Labor Day too (cocktails at my house, 5PM 😉 )!

  6. I will be there - in person Im so excited to get to share such a special time with you. Get busy on #2 we are all going to be chomping at the bits for it.

    1. I'm so excited for you to be here too, Denise! Whee!! I'm getting busy on #2--3,000 projected new words in this coming week. I'm slow, but that ain't too shabby!

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