I remember reading and hearing over the years that authors had taken five years, fifteen years, even twenty-five years to write a book. That always sounded outrageous and like way too much time to spend on what should only take a few months. After all, doesn’t that great idea you have for a story or a book just write itself? I mean, if you’re a writer, you write, right?
Several years ago (eleven to be exact), while taking an online course at the London School of Journalism, I had an idea for a short story. After the first submission, my instructor told me that my idea was not a short story, but a novel. A year or so later I met a publisher who told me that my idea was not a novel, but a trilogy. And so began my journey with the Hassie Calhoun trilogy.
HASSIE CALHOUN: A Las Vegas Novel Of Innocence was published in 2011. The plan was to release the second book two years later and the third book of the trilogy two years after that. That meant that the entire trilogy should have been completed in 2015. Were that it was that easy.
A writer knows that the first, second, third and maybe even the thirty-third draft can send them back to the drawing board. The image of the writer in front of the typewriter, ripping the page out, wadding into a ball and lobbing it toward the trash bin is a real thing. Only now we frustratedly hit DELETE and then hurl abuse at the computer.
The second installment of the Hassie Calhoun trilogy, DO I KNOW YOU?, has just been released. It took a little over eight years to write. I completely trashed it at least once, almost abandoned it several times and rewrote and revised until I felt it was as good as it would ever be. I’d never come up with a good working title and so after several months of team effort to settle on that exactly right title and then design the exactly right cover, DO I KNOW YOU? was birthed like a twenty pound baby. It was exhausting but I know it will be worth it. At least I hope so.