Week by numbers.

Hello, I am officially crawling out from under my editing rock to say hello (before I crawl back again).

  • 72,240, words, in the final draft of The Queen of England: Ascension. In case you’re wondering, that’s a bit of an addition from the 68,583 words the second draft came in at.  While I did add the usual acknowledgements, and questions, the remainder are all scenes that needed more.  I’m very happy with how the trilogy is ending.  My next step is to send the book to my formatter, then send it to my Kindle, and read it for any final issues.  Oh, and pick a day to publish…
  • 1, final cover, of The Queen of England: Ascension that is also complete.  My cover artist and I had started the process earlier in the year, but took a step back, as we could not find a cover model that suited.  Now, I have a great cover (definitely worth waiting for), and some extra materials to work up some marketing.
  • 1, new foster kitty we have in our lives.  After the passing of Nubbins, I knew that we would most likely need another cat in our lives, but just wasn’t sure of the timing.  In this instance, Tig showed up to K9 Friends (where I volunteer).  She was injured, so was taken to a local vet to get stitched up and put on antibiotics.  I was able to take her for two days, and now that her new family had issues with their cats, she’s come back to us again.  Allergies aside, we’re definitely considering keeping her, as she is just a lovable little soul.
  • 1, giant book drought I’ve been in.  In nearly three weeks, I haven’t been able to get into any new book…and I’ve tried about 15 or more.  I’ve been relying on old classics, and finally last night, got into The Dreamers.
  • 1, new country visited — over Eid, Hubs and I and friends went to Sofia, Bulgaria — definitely worth a visit.
  • 1, new book I’m going to hopefully start editing from tomorrow.  It’s time to take Under the Rain of Light from rough draft to first draft.
  • 2, countries to visit in the next few weeks.  Maldives for Hubs’ birthday and fingers crossed, a press trip to Korea (it’s already been cancelled once, so I’m hoping this time around I’m able to go).

What have you been up to?

An author’s visit to London.

I was lucky enough to visit London this summer, if only for a few hours.  This was my first visit to the city after writing my Queen trilogy, and I was super excited to check out all the places I had written about over the past few years.

While I didn’t expect to be emotional, sure enough, mixed feelings of excitement and pride (?) welled up on our approach to Heathrow.  On a beautiful summer day, I saw the city how Juliette would see it from various points in my books.  As she often travels by airship, looking down on the city, I got my first glimpse into what I had only imagined.  Is this a thing only authors experience?  I looked to my husband, but how could I share what I was feeling?  He hadn’t lived the scenes in his head.  He hadn’t spent hours writing and editing, dreaming and coordinating over 200,000 words.

After dropping off our luggage at the hotel, on our first afternoon, we walked to Kensington Gardens, a property where Queen Victoria spent much of her youth.  In the park, I was able to not only get a picture of my book with a statue of her (former) majesty, but also just to soak up the experience of being in the place where my characters could have been (well, in the 1840s, at least). I didn’t expect to be (again) emotional, but after countless hours of research, faced with this iconic monarch, the weight of everything hit me.

Writing is such a solitary endeavor.  Sure, I’ve been doing it for years, but somehow, being at places where my characters went, spoke, fought, and fell in love was such a wonderful way to spend a few hours.

The following morning we went to Westminster (the location of Queen Juliette’s disastrous coronation).  As I walked the roads she was fictionally carried through, to the banks of the Thames where she was kidnapped…  Well,  I’m sure there’s a word in another language to describe the depth of my feelings, but I can’t really think of one in English.

As I move to finish the final draft of the final book of the trilogy (157 pages out of 205), I feel very fortunate to have visited many of the locations in the books.  While I might not get to all of the places, the trip in July was a special moment to walk a few kilometers in Juliette’s shoes.

Of course, after finishing The Queen of England: Ascension, I’ll start editing a more contemporary novel, and it’s my hope that return trips to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Macau and Paris are in my future.  Before Under a Rain of Light comes out I’ll do what I can to get where I can, but for now I’m content to have return visits to the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Her majesty and her majesty.