My guest today is Joan De La Haye, author of Shadows and co-founder of Rebel e Publishers. Joan writes:
I started writing Shadows a few years ago. I was in the middle of editing and finishing off another book, which is now collecting dust in the back of a drawer, when the idea for Shadows hit me. In fact it did hit me, in the middle of the night, in the guise of a very freaky nightmare.
I decided that since it frightened me, it probably would also frighten others. I couldn’t go back to sleep so poured a glass of wine, switched on my old computer and started writing a story that seemed to come from somewhere else. It was one of those rare moments when the muse strikes and there’s just no arguing with her or in this case him. The story just flowed out of my fingers and onto the keyboard.
I spent a year working on the first draft. This time I took Stephen King’s advice and wrote with the door tightly shut. I’d made the mistake with my previous book, the one that’s collecting dust, and allowed too many people to influence it. As a result it ended up not being my book.
The first draft was only Sarah’s story and written from her perspective. It ended up being way too short, so I added Kevin’s story and tied them together. They fitted together seamlessly, but there was still something missing from the story. I couldn’t figure out what it was until I sent it off to a local publisher. The submissions editor loved it, but said that it was too short and she then suggested that I added some additional scenes.
The additions she suggested were all great and incredibly helpful, but she also got me thinking about another side. One I hadn’t even thought about. Carol’s story was written in a matter of days. I couldn’t focus on anything else until her story was written. Shadows became the interwoven story of three very flawed individuals struggling with their own demons.
I re-submitted it to the local publisher, who then unfortunately didn’t like the extra scenes that they’d requested. It wasn’t what they’d wanted. It took a year from my original submission to the day the publisher passed on Shadows.
Needless to say I was devastated. I’ve never been very good in handling rejection. What I did to get over the rejection can be found on Pat’s other blog: Book Marketing Floozy.