Two Months and Counting

Two months and counting before Blood Money will be published. The road to publication of this book, though, began over five years ago.

On a warm Santa Barbara afternoon in June 2008, my writing mentor held up a bound copy of a soon-to-be-published novel  “You want one of these,” she told me. “It’s an ARC.”

That term didn’t mean much to me at the time, but if my mentor said an ARC was what I needed, then it was my job to find out how to get it.

Only later did I realize that an ARC—an Advanced Reader Copy—represented one of the last stops on the road to publication. Not the end of the road, though. I had attended conferences to improve my writing. I spent my early mornings back at home practicing that craft, revising each draft, and writing some more. Sometimes on this road, the novel in my mind butted up against an embankment of real words on a page. When that happened, I left the manuscript on the side of the road for a few months. Afterwards, I came back to the book with eyes fresh, seeing the flaws hidden there all along.

In 2008, I thought the ARC represented the destination. In 2013, Blood Money has taught me that the ARC is just one more stop in this writer’s journey.

Last month, the ARC of Blood Money arrived at my house to the jubilant fanfare of my kids. The cover of “Daddy’s book” perfectly captured in an image what I could hardly articulate in a query. I basked in the book’s glow for a few day before sitting down to read it, quickly realizing I had more miles to go on this road.

For the last month, I’ve re-read the book. Suffered the tyranny of typos. Smoothed unpaved sentences. Erased obvious errors.

Each read-through brings me closer to a goal I had five years ago when the idea first bubbled up from my subconscious of a tainted blood substitute and a dead body. Now, as I finish my final edit of the ARC, I’ve noticed other distant vistas from this initial mountain top. So the journey continues.

To the book release.

The marketing.

The next book idea.

Then, to the next ARC.