The novel is done like dinner. That isn’t a good metaphor in my house hmmm… or well, actually maybe it is. Since it has been turned into a serial novel, I guess that means it isn’t done, because while the novel is done —at least the novel as it was— it now only makes up the first four of six books in the series, the last two books are not finished. It all gets more confusing from there, because my novel isn’t merely a novel, but includes imagery from the story. The images are not completed yet. I still need to do some pick up shoots, and as for the second book (or I should say the 5th and 6th books in the series) I haven’t even begun. That makes it difficult because just getting one novel shot was a huge project (going on 5 months now) so shooting a completely different story with new characters is going to be much the same.
This is where I start to doubt what I am trying to accomplish. I want to get this thing out to the public, I want them to experience it as a fresh new idea in ePub reading. I also want it to be perfect. The words have been through copious amounts of editing, three or four separate editors, as well as tweaking by me. The words are ready to be scrutinized, but the images are not. I started off just being possessive of my story and wanting to shoot my own cover, and from there it mushroomed.
My next question is trying to approach editors and agents with the manuscript. The manuscript itself is finished, but the images alas. There is no precedent for what I’m doing here. In general a romance manuscript is edited then sold to a publisher and if they do additional stuff for the book; movies, cover art, other visual stuff, it’s done by the publisher. Not the author. This is groundbreaking. This is difficult. This might flop harder than a fat girl at a swimming pool.
So I haver. I overthink, I worry. The images are so beautiful, I start thinking maybe the words aren’t up to par. My editor tells me to shut the hell up and keep going, so then I wonder if the images do the story justice. Actually my editor/art director has started saying things like “you’re wonderful Jenn, you’re writing is beautiful Jenn, you’re so awesome Jenn,” followed by an exasperated look. She makes me laugh. But I am still a mess. I’m not a published author, I never planned to be a published author. I have no idea how the business works other than what I’ve read about. I haven’t ever even spoken with an agent or another author, though I’d love to.
I don’t know where to go from here, other than forward. To keep on keepin’ on. Hopefully the book will be done soon. No, the book is done, hopefully the images will be done soon.
To all those who have helped me along the way, I love you so much. I could never have done this without you. Your dedication and support is amazing and I thank you and only hope to return the favor tenfold.
Along those lines:
Derek Hutchins is an incredible model and now a certified fitness trainer in San Francisco as well as being a photographer.
Cora Kemp is an amazing photographer
Monika Graf is the best makeup artist I’ve ever worked with
Elena Brown is a fantastic writer/editor/art director/general kick in the pants
Melinda Piñon is an awesome support, photographer and horsey stuff editor.
Anna Montgomery is my dearest friend. She consented to reading and editing my novel, and provided me with some of the most important insights into the character relationships.