Just a quick peek please!
by Debra Chappell
Weather today: freezing cold, snowing, windy, and blustery
View ‘from the front porch’:
(Measured in Z’s, depending on sleep the night before – 5 being terrific!)
Toss up this morning between blogging and making biscotti – decided to do both, I’ve mixed the batter and am letting it “rest” (recipe says 3 hrs in frig.), can tap away in the meantime! Sent off re-worked chapters to editor yesterday (Chapters 1-5), so have a reprieve until she sends them back.
So…after meeting my new literary agent and editor, I had a wonderful time exploring New York City, (but not before I’d made quite the spectacle of myself in the very chichi jewelry store at Bergdorf-Goodman – re: previous blog installment.) However, I was keenly aware that I’d soon have to return home and back to reality. I hoped like hell that the whole escapade wouldn’t fade to black and white like some old classic movie the minute my plane landed back home. I was relieved and somewhat re-assured when my first set of editorial notes arrived just after New Year’s as promised, and realized I was embarking on a whole new adventure of a different sort – the actual revision and editing of the book.
Though apprehensive at first, I have to admit, I’m enjoying the entire process. It’s given me the chance to revisit the characters and places in the book (which I haven’t read word for word in almost two years) to make changes to not only enrich the personalities and emotions of the characters, but the physical scenery as well. My editor has a way of asking me the questions that provoke a fuller and more complete picture, then it’s my job to relay it in an interesting way to the reader. Because I have such a clear picture in my own mind of the characters, (after all, I spent the better part of a year and a half with them) this is where the challenge comes in. Conveying what I know in my mind so well, to someone who’s being introduced for the first time.
A friend of mine recently commented that I’ve blogged a lot about the publishing process, securing the agent and editor, and about my trip to NY, but haven’t shared much about the book itself – I assure you, that’s by design. When I was in real estate, I spent an inordinate amount in time and money to create glossy brochures and virtual tours of the properties I’d listed, only to find it had the opposite of the desired affect. Though meant to be marketing tools to entice potential buyers to actually come view the property – to look around and hopefully fall in love with the place, buyers would often discount seeing it based solely on the photos. More than once a buyer would sit in my office after viewing photos on the computer and start eliminating properties they previously wanted to see, because little Johnny’s bedroom was painted pink instead of blue! It’s the same feeling as showing someone around a re-modeled home that’s still in progress while the entire place is still torn apart. God forbid something similar would eliminate my book from bookclub – because the jist of the storyline had already been read (and judged) online in my blog.
I mean really, if someone would have said to me “Yeah, you gotta read this one, it’s about a black maid who can’t use her employer’s toilet so she gets revenge by baking a homemade pie that tastes like…” well, you get the idea. Honestly, would you have wanted to read it?
In both books and lingerie, it’s my feeling that a little mystery’s a good thing. Too much of a peek will either stir the imagination or dash any existing desire for more. So… bearing that in mind, all I will say is that to date, I have written a novel about three long-time friends – specifically, three middle-aged women, their life’s challenges, loves and a few long-held secrets that are exposed when one of them goes through a heart-wrenching divorce. You’ll have to read the rest when the book comes out (and no, this isn’t what I wear when I go to bed!) ‘til next time…