The writing life circles around seasons that are tied in with the four that most people recognize, and since I’m writing a series, late summer has become the time when my family and I celebrate the birth of a new book. This year the new Timber Creek K-9 Mystery is Hunting Hour, and we’ve anticipated its release on August 8 for several months.
The writing cycle for this book began winter of 2016 when I first began to incubate the idea for it and started the research. As always, I brainstormed with my husband and other consultants who know more about the subject than I, and by February, I put together a loose outline that included most of the major turning points but still contained holes that needed to be filled. I started writing the book by March of 2016, plugging those holes as I wrote.
It takes almost two seasons – or about five months – for me to complete the first draft of a manuscript. I write in the mornings and work my day job in the afternoons. By August of 2016, I had completed a rough draft that needed a great deal of revision before I wanted to show it to my editor. I shared a summary of the story with the team at Crooked Lane Books, however, and by autumn of 2016, they had designed a brilliant cover.
Beta readers and consultants read and provided input for the second draft, I revised again, and by the third draft, it was ready to submit to my editor. By now, we were into October. Two to three rounds of editing took us through the fall and into the winter of 2017. By that time, I also began planning the next book.
During winter and early spring of 2017, we finished Hunting Hour with a couple rounds of proofreading for those pesky typos and mistakes, and I started to write the fourth book, scheduled to release around this time next year. Now, here at the end of the summer and on the eve of launching book three, the first draft of book four is almost complete. I can’t wait to see the cover that Crooked Lane comes up with for this next episode.
I’m grateful for all the support provided by my agent, Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary, during the many seasons of the writing process. And now, we celebrate. My two daughters will fly to Colorado from the west coast and join the launch party. Joy! The weekend will fly by, and I’ll spend every minute that I can with them.
Then we’ll all go back to work, and the cycle continues.