Writing a novel is in process. From idea to publication may take many years. The fun thing about writing fiction series is that the plot changes with each book, but the author doesn't need to reinvent the setting and characters. Once a series is established, with a defined world and familiar characters, the writing process may speed up.
The idea for the Rose Creek series began five years ago, in 2019. It took time to develop the world, and settle on the story tone. Then finding a publishing home for the series took more time. The Body in the Cattails was born in May 2023. The Body in the Cornfield followed quickly in November.
Work on Rose Creek Mystery number three began in earnest back in August 2023. Brainstorming the plot started with the birth of the series, but I actually began outlining and writing The Body in the Hayloft six months ago.
At the beginning of a novel, I typically tell myself to pick a plot requiring little research. Then a spark hits me, an idea, and I'm combing the internet for information on interesting technology, potential murder weapons, and in this book, the average age of a hunter-jumper horse in Olympic competition.
Now that I've written The End, The Body in the Hayloft will be reviewed by my critique partners. Whether in a critique group or by using beta readers, authors almost always rely on these early readers to catch everything from continuity mistakes to typos. I return the favor by reading their manuscripts. We provide mutual aid to one another in an effort to make our books the best they can be before approaching agents, editors, and publishers.
Not just the book must be completed. I fill out an extensive document with blurbs, synopses of different lengths, author bio, and other information needed by the publisher.
By March I hope to send my novel to my editor at Encircle Publications. If she recommends it for publication, she will make her own edits and comments. She will catch what my critique partners miss. A publication date will be set.
From there, the book will receive cover art. And we're off to the races! Readers will see the novel pre-release and release notices, unaware of the years that may have preceded the birth of the book. And that the author has most likely already begun work on their next novel!
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