Regular readers of this blog (lucky, lucky folk) are more than aware what a titanic struggle this book has been. My fingers are very firmly crossed that this was second book syndrome done and dusted and book three will be a breeze to write, even if only in comparison!
There were times over the last two years when I wondered what on earth I was doing - there's a fine line between obstinacy and perseverance and I really wasn't sure which side I was on. Many, many times I nearly put Minty aside to start on something new, sure I was fooling myself and that there really wasn't a book worth writing in this idea. But I couldn't. I loved my heroine and I loved my hero and I adored the setting. Everything else might - and did - change but they remained constant.
So here's a recap of how the book evolved from rewrite to rewrite. If you're currently struggling with a WIP that just won't work I hope this shows you there is light at the end of the tunnel, just sometimes the tunnel is a very, very long one!
Aug 2011 - First chapt competition - I wrote four alternative first chapters each centred around a socialite who embarks on a fake engagement with her gay Italian flatmate only to fall for his disapproving cousin, Luca. It didn't final.
Dec 2011 - I read India Grey's brilliant Craving the Forbidden about a girl's fake relationship with her gay best friend. I know there are many common tropes and themes in romance but this was far too good to follow. Back to the drawing board.
Jan 12 - Rewrote from scratch, still with a fake relationship theme, but this time with Luca, engineered by his cousin/Minty's flatmate.
Apr 12 - Sat down to edit. Rewrote from scratch removing one secondary character.
May 12 - Sent off to the New Writer's Scheme and also entered the first chapter in a Romance Fast Track comp.
June 12 - Didn't hear back from the Fast Track. Received an EIGHT PAGE letter from the NWS reader. Took to my bed, wallowed, cried, sulked. Got out of bed and rewrote killing off another secondary character and changing the theme.
July 12 - Entered new first chapter for a one to one at the RNA Conference. The editor quite liked it but suggested it would be better without the last secondary character. The gay best friend had to go. Rewrote again - the whole book
Sept 12 - Entered the latest new chapter in SYTYCW. Didn't place. Fell into pit of despair.
Oct 12 - Got an email from M&B asking if I was planning to submit a full mss for the Fast Track event. My email had got lost, they wanted to see it! Edited hard.
Dec 12 - Submitted.
Waited. Waited some more. Chased. Waited. (edited and submitted another book).
Aug 13 THEY WANT IT
Oct 13 Edits
Nov 13 Final acceptance.