‘The end of a story is not the point of a story… but you have to get to the end to understand the point of the story.’ Veny Armanno, Year-of-the-Novel, QWC 2007
New Year’s Eve always feels more like a beginning than an ending. I’m usually running on a full tank after Christmas, eager to hit the road, and discover what’s dancing on the shimmering horizon. I have to force myself to slow down, pull over for a minute, ponder where I’ve been, before plotting a new course. The horizon shimmers in every direction; it doesn’t help to fix your eyes on a mirage…
The past twelve months has been a white-knuckle roller-coaster ride. My first manuscript became my first novel halfway through the year; and two months later I sold my publisher a novel I hadn’t yet written, based on three chapters and a synopsis.
Twelve months ago, I would have lacked the confidence to contemplate such madness. Sometimes I still wonder if it was ignorance or arrogance that led me to take the chance on myself, to believe that I could deliver an entire manuscript, fifty-thousand-odd words, to someone else’s deadline. But in moments of peace, I like to believe that I’ve learned to trust myself and my writing instincts.
Whichever is the case, Henry Hoey Hobson met his deadline, rose to a new level through revisions, survived the rigours of the copy edit, and is now with the typesetters and cover artists. Like my firstborn Dust, he will be released on July 1st, to make its own way through the world of reviewers, booksellers, teacher-librarian networks, and into the hands of his readers.
It has been a mighty year and I can’t help but feel grateful to all those who helped turn my wildest wish-fulfillment fantasies into reality. My gorgeous husband and children, treasured family and friends, my wonderful publisher Leonie Tyle, editor Sarah Hazelton, publicist Yae Morton, and all the booksellers, teachers, librarians, and readers whose support has been both gratifying and humbling over the past year. Thank you, and may the new year fulfill its promises to you all.
PS. I do have a new year’s resolution: I will finish The Lonely Dead in 2010. That is my promise to myself and to you all. Hold me to it. And Happy New Year.