by Anna Campbell
Well, at least I hope that's the case. Shakespeare surely can't be wrong, can he? And please don't answer that!
Last week, I turned in the manuscript of my newest Regency noir to my editor at Avon. After a year of hard work and concentration and heartache and struggle, the manuscript was finally ready to leave my hot little hands and face the world. Those characters who have lived inside my head and driven me mad with their demands for a year - and all the time before that while they worked out what their story would be - have moved out of the house and found an apartment in New York. Those heart-wrenching dilemmas that have occupied me almost nonstop for the whole writing period are no longer quite so urgent.
I'm always in a funny mood when I turn a book in. I don't get great surges of happy achievement. There's no particular euphoria. It's a bit like I've had something amputated, actually. Not that I ever have. But something that's been an essential part of me is suddenly...not there any more. It's a very odd sensation. I'm always dead tired and a bit on edge and unsettled. Nothing seems quite right for a while. It's like I'm caught balancing between two chairs somehow.
I don't have children, but it's a bit like the kids have moved out of home, I suspect. Although that analogy doesn't completely work as I know new tenants will move into the space in my head that Gideon and Charis (the hero and heroine of the finished manuscript) have occupied and will be the focus of the same intense emotion as their predecessors. And then the whole consuming process will start again. So in a year, I'll be back in this situation again. Having now handed in four books for publication, I've learned this is the pattern.
As yet there's no title for the finished story. Well, there's a title but I suspect it will change before too long. As yet, there's no cover art - the picture at the top of this blog is the gorgeous cover for my January 2009 release TEMPT THE DEVIL. I thought it was worth at least another look!
So, fellow writers, I'd love to know how you are when you finish a book. Are you dancing around and drinking champagne? I always thought that's what writers did! They always do in the movies! I'd love to know at least some of you party when you finish a book. Fellow readers, have you recently completed a major task? Did you stop to pat yourself on the back? I hope you did! Perhaps we can pat you on the back now!