It’s been a productive writing year for me, although my bank account says differently. I have worked hard all year long on one project or another. Partly to help me remember what I’ve done, and also to share with anyone who is curious, I’ve decided to jot it out as my end of the year blog post.
I was busy this month doing final proof-reading for Cry of the Sea. I also had begun re-typing my old published and out-of-print novel Special into my computer and making some fixes on it as I went.
There were some last minute fixes on Cry of the Sea that literally went up to the week before it went to print. On February 23rd it was released very quietly to the world. I continued to work on rewriting Special, and I decided to rewrite my novel On the Water as a YA novel with a girl protagonist, as opposed to the boy MG novel that was not getting any requests from publishers or agents. I wrote out the outline.
I mostly worked on my rewrite of On the Water and finished at the end of March. I had my book release party for Cry of the Sea at Parnassus Books, and a lot of my friends from work came, along with two of my favorite SCBWI Nashville authors, Tracy Barrett and Rae Ann Parker.
At some urging from my friends and a couple reviewers who read Cry of the Sea, I began plotting a sequel. I’d never planned on Cry of the Sea being a series, but I had thought about other adventures Juniper could have with mythological creatures. I came up with an idea that I thought might work. I also finished rewriting my book Special. I gave it a new title: No One Needed to Know and submitted it to a couple publishers. Also this month I learned of a new publisher looking for novellas. I decided to rewrite a short story of mine called Passing Notes into a novella.
This month I finished Passing Notes and sent it to that publisher. It was rejected very sweetly in one day because the publisher already had a book with a similar theme. I turned around and sent it to Fire and Ice, publisher of Cry of the Sea. They accepted it and scheduled it to be published in January, 2015.
I heard from Schoolwide Inc. that they liked No One Needed to Know but wanted some significant rewrites. I worked on those and turned them in by the end of August. I got a contract for the book to be published in their subscription library in March, 2015. Still not sure what that entails exactly, but it’ll be a fun adventure. I finally got an iPhone in July and learned how to do Instagram. It has become my favorite social media platform. I still hate Twitter and would like someone to explain to me why it’s supposed to be cool.
I finally started writing the first couple chapters of Whisper of the Trees (title provided by Kathleen Young), my sequel to Cry of the Sea. It was promptly interrupted, however, when a couple authors in a critique group at the SCBWI Fall conference suggested On the Water should be a Middle Grade novel. Immediately after that, an agent asked me to rewrite On the Water as a Middle Grade novel and cut 10,000 words out of it. I only was able to cut 6,000 and sent it back to her. She wound up rejecting it, but a couple other agents have asked to read it. We’ll see. Maybe it finally found its correct form.
I knew I wasn’t going to have time to do NaNoWriMo, which kind of bummed me out. I wanted to use the challenge to force myself to finish Whisper of the Trees. However, my husband, daughter and I got cast in a play and had rehearsals for that all month. Plus, my editor for Passing Notes sent me her suggestions, and my editor for No One Needed to Know had some more fixes he needed as well. I had to spend what little writing time I had to work on those. I didn’t get much “new” writing done. I did, however, finally finish putting together my book trailer for Cry of the Sea.
At last, the play ended on the 14th! It was fun, but oh my gosh it stole so much time. I got back to writing Whisper of the Trees. I also had to do some proofreading for Passing Notes and plan my book cover reveal. Passing Notes is scheduled to be released on January 29th, 2015. As of today, I’m at 25,000 words on Whisper, but I hope to write at least 10,000 more by January 4th (because I have some time off work) and finish the first draft soon. It is my main focus now.
Writing Goals for 2015:
Thanks for your support. Please leave a comment or a thought. I’d love to hear from you.
D. G. Driver
Author of Young Adult books Cry of the Sea and Passing Notes.