I e-mailed my editor and my agent the manuscript for DELICIOUS at 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning. I said I'd give it to them on the second of April (first was a Sunday) before I went to sleep. Guess I kept my word.
The writing of DELICIOUS, as you probably already know, was a slog. The story didn't quite come together for me until early January, when I finally understood the sort of relationship the hero and the heroine had with each other and with their lightning-rod of a brief history. Once the core of the story gelled, I absolutely fell in love with it. But then I hardly had any time left.
I think I submitted something decent. I also think it could be stunning instead of just decent. (Here's my whole philosophy on writing. It's hard and chances are I will make less money as a novelist than as a partner in an accounting firm. So there is no point producing only a decent product. In the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth tells Jane that nothing less than the deepest love would induce her to marry. For me, nothing less than the most devastatingly beautiful stories would induce me to keep writing--I hope.)
But I chose to give DELICIOUS as-is because I needed some time away from it to let ideas and thoughts percolate through my subconscious, because I could benefit from hearing from my editor and agent--both are wonderful at spotting shortcomings and do it ever so nicely--and because I've got some fires to put out at school. Ugh.
Anyway, here are some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that SCHEMES (or whatever it would be called by then) would not be released until spring 2008. Darn. The good news is that we made the first foreign rights sale on it. To Russia. Which was very, very cool. Look for me to post the Russian cover in about 2 years. :-)
On the personal front, I would like to say to members of my family who might be reading this: thank you and I can't thank you enough. SCHEMES I wrote largely on my own time. DELICIOUS I wrote on everyone's time. Three generations of family pitched in to help me out during this very hectic year. I really, really couldn't have done it without all of you.
I'm blessed beyond measure.