My sense of excitement is overshadowed only by my sense of relief.
Consequently, I elected to participate in National Novel Writing Month for the first time. NaNoWriMo calls for a 50,000-word novel written in 30 days in November. I attempted to write a chapter a day, taking the weekends off. I hit a pretty good rhythm with Roses Are White in November, but it became obvious the book was going to be longer than the 23 chapters I could write on my schedule. So in the final week, I attempted to write two chapters a day.
And I worked myself so hard as a result I made myself sick, contracting three illnesses at once and laying myself out for the first two weeks of December. Those first days, I was so sick I could only drag myself out of bed to drive my children to school and pick them up again in the afternoon. I laid on the couch and watched the rest of the family decorate the Christmas tree.
I managed to finish the first draft before the end of the year and got the second draft off to my editor in a timely fashion, despite the fact that I published the Sword and the Sorcerer on Christmas Day while my family was in from out of town and then spent most of January promoting the daylights out of it.
When I set a publishing schedule for 2014, I planned Roses Are White for mid-April. But when my editor attempted to work on the third draft, her computer ate the manuscript (and all her edits). Twice.
That forced me to push the publication date back to April 29 (still April!) and to work at an accelerated pace throughout the end of March and the rest of April. Mindful of how I worked myself sick back in November but unwilling to blow the deadline I’d set, I read the third draft with edits and rewrote it in a week. Then my editor and I did our read aloud edit in another week. When the proof came back, I read the whole book again in another week. Reading the same book three times in a month isn’t really fun, no matter how good it is.
And Roses Are White is a good book, in my opinion. I’m pleased with how it turned out, and I think it has something important to say. I’ll blog more on that next week.
For now, I’m extremely pleased to have it out in the world. I’m also relieved. Roses Are White was a tremendous amount of stressful work. It’s good to finally get the pay off.
Here’s the description:
Death is a white rose. . . .
Dexter Rose, the world’s greatest assassin, has come to Alfar.
His mission: Topple the coalition government.
His plan: Three perfect murders, culminating with President Spellbinder herself.
His method: Magic – to disguise himself as anyone and to petrify the victim before the kill.
Only one man has all the right skills to go head to head with the infamous killer and defeat him before he can complete his gruesome assignment. In a land of elves and magic, it will take a human Shadow to stop Dexter Rose before it’s too late.
But Wolf Dasher is recalled to Urland, and his true love, May Honeyflower, isn’t convinced his replacement can prevent Rose from accomplishing his grisly goals. She’ll have to find a way to keep Wolf in Alfar for one more mission . . . and by her side forever.
As the killer closes in on his final quarry, is even Wolf Dasher good enough to stop an assassin who’s never failed? And if he can’t, what will be the cost?
Roses Are White is the third book in the exciting Wolf Dasher series. Following the action of State of Grace and Red Dragon Five, this fantasy-thriller mash-up blends super-spy action with magic and elves in an electric brew that will keep you turning pages. Love and bigotry, loss and redemption, sacrifice and savagery all collide in a pulse-pounding tale you won’t want to put down. Read it as a standalone novel or as the third installment in a series both fresh and familiar.