2013 and all that jazz

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You know, I think it’s only during this Christmas mini-break that I’ve realised exactly how exhausting this year has been. I can tell I’m tired, because I’ve spent roughly 80% of my time at home asleep. Take today for example – dragged myself reluctantly out of bed at midday, watched Man of Steel, tried to figure out what Minecraft is about (I exploded twice! I’m not normally that bad at video games, honest), ate a load of Christmas cheese with Marty, immediately fell asleep for about two hours. And I’m still tired. Most days have been like this.

Looking back, it’s not that surprising. After all, 2013 was the year that my fabulous agent sold my book to Headline, and that meant that I hit the ground running in January – by then I was already knee deep in the structural edit laid out by Juliet, and then once the book was with my publisher, there were many more edits to work through. It’s the part of the business I don’t think you really grasp until it’s happening to you; that a book is so much more than the first draft. I lost track of how many edits The Copper Promise went through in the end, but I can tell you that I know that saucy little sword and sorcery romp back to front, up and down, top to tail. Good lord do I ever.

And while I was doing all that, there was all the other stuff, of course. I went to Nineworlds and did my first public reading and had a fabulous time. When the edits were finally handed in on The Copper Promise I started work on book two (and book two is not easy, not least because suddenly you’re getting paid to do this stuff and it’s all alarmingly serious). I spoke on a couple of panels at EdgeLit and managed not to cack myself. We spent a few days in York and I looked at a Viking poo. I volunteered as a Red Coat at World Fantasy Con, which turned out to be one of my more foolish decisions. I seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time being ill this year too, and to add an extra layer of frothy stress to my aggravation trifle, I ended up in a new position in my day job that meant longer hours and more time staring at computer screens.

It has been quite a year. I saw my face on the Bookseller homepage (right next to Maggie Thatcher’s, alarmingly), I saw the cover of my book for the first time, I learnt what editing was really about, and I held a physical copy of The Copper Promise in my sweaty little mitts. I stood with a bag of proof copies at a bus stop, marvelling at the sheer weight of the things, and how all the words inside were mine.

And next year is likely to be another corker. On the 13th of February, The Copper Promise will be out in the world, possibly in actual bookshops, and people will be reading it and getting to know my characters. Once they’re out there, they will belong to the readers, at least a little bit, and that is amazing and scary. I will sign copies, and get my first bad reviews (and good ones, hopefully) and I’ll have achieved a dream I never really thought was possible. And I’ll finish book two, and start all those exciting edits again!

2014 is where it gets real, my lovelies, and I’m rather looking forward to it. I just need a few more days sleep first…

6 thoughts on “2013 and all that jazz

  1. I stood with a bag of proof copies at a bus stop, marvelling at the sheer weight of the things, and how all the words inside were mine.

    This bit made me a little teary.

  2. Morning Jenny, a charming post indeed. Although I haven’t been fortunate enough to sell a book this year I totally agree with you re. how much of a toll this year has taken between two jobs, a family, daily school runs, overtime over Christmas and the various Cons, BFS reviews, articles, and layout work I’ve done this year. We went down to London to see family an’ friends and I really struggled to stay awake most days, including a record nine naps on Christmas Day alone (to the annoyance of all — “you’re working too hard and trying to cram too much in without enough sleep”).

    The weird thing is I never (and don’t) believe this is the case at all — I don’t usually need a lot of sleep anyway, but it just transpired that these four days were ’empty’ in terms of writing/reading/layout commitments and I think my physical self just declared itself ‘Not required’… I”ve been up most mornings around this time (4.30-5.30 am), and frankly just feel restless and eager to get back to my various writing projects… it is truly bizarre, but there’s also that nagging feeling that maybe this forthcoming year will be a good one for me and my projects. Fingers crossed.

    Also, congratulations again with Copper Promise — I was probably one of the few that didn’t get a copy at WFC which just makes me all the more determined to try and support you through one of the bookshops come February. Best of luck with both it and future projects. Enjoy 2014, a year full of promise, copper or otherwise…? 😉

    • Thank you Alex! It’s funny how the exhaustion creeps up on you (I can’t imagine doing all this and having school runs and so on to deal with too) but I know what you mean about wanting to get back to it – I finally have my writing desk sorted out and I’m looking forward to putting in some hours. :) I think you’re right; your body notices that you’re unoccupied and takes the chance to grab some extra rest.

      I hope you also have an excellent 2014, with lots of creative success! 😀

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