Paralysed With Fear
Here was the day I'd been waiting for, the one I'd dreamed about for so many years and yet where I should have felt the buzzing bubble of excitement, I instead felt the gut wrenching sickness of dread. My hands were shaking, I felt sick to my stomach and I alternated between feverishly hot and freezing cold. The only thing I could see clearly was the email from Coral, my Editor. Her comments had arrived in my inbox and I was paralysed with fear.
Until this point House of Scarabs had been my baby that I'd nurtured through its gestation period, I'd picked up when it failed, I'd cajoled into life and lived with for 5 long years. It was mine and, although I loved it, I had no idea if my parental love for this book I'd created had coloured my perception casting a rosy glow over a proverbial ugly duckling.
This email had the answer. Coral was the only person who had now read the book, aside from myself, and I was freaking out. Imagine if you will ... you send your little 5 year old off to school for the first day and when you return to collect your little darling at the end of the day the teacher gives you a detailed summary of all the things wrong with him or her. I'd hazard a bet you'd either want to run for the hills determined to never expose your child to such criticism again, or you'd face up for a large confrontation. How many of you would take the words on the chin and say 'OK I'll correct all those problems and send him or her back tomorrow for you to tell me what's wrong all over again?'
Yet that's what writers have to face every time they share their work - be it with an editor, a family member or their readers. It takes a cast iron constitution and mine was tin.
When In Doubt Procrastinate.
So what did I do? Nothing. I sat and stewed in my anxiety for 3 days before I opened the email. My anxiety grew as everyday passed, the dread worsened... I was torturing myself. Finally equipped with an artificial dose of courage (hey it's summer and Sangria helps all woes) I opened the email and.... I cried. Now I wish they were beautiful little dew drops rolling down my cheeks but they were big old ugly, red eyes, stomach bouncing sobs. But they were joyous sobs. Happy red nose. Jubilant snorts. She like the book. She wrote such amazingly kind words.
That doesn't mean I don't have plenty of work to do to perfect it but... SHE LIKED MY BABY. She saw promise in it. I was flying high.
I raced down the stairs to be accosted by my two Rottweilers who were not happy that someone had made me cry and were determined to lick every tear from my face. Were they impressed that I'd got great feedback? I doubt it but Rottie snogs are always good.
Once I'd been released from the Rottweiler Facial Spa I ran to tell anyone who'd listen. My parents, my sister, my husband, my niece and nephews. They were all brilliant - very happy for me but slightly shocked at the extent of the terror I'd been hiding from them.
The Editor Has Spoken
Here's the Editorial Review in its entirety:
House of Scarabs by Hazel Longuet
Editorial Review by Coral Coons
House of Scarabs is a surprisingly delightful dip into a genre readers may not know they need to discover – but they definitely do. Equal parts action/thriller, mystery, historical fiction, and modern-day fantasy, this book starts off grippingly fascinating and quickly dives into a thrilling ride you’ll never forget. With quirky, lovable characters, a rich storyline, and lots of infectious humor along the way, this is a story that has a little bit of everything but blends it all together perfectly. In a wonderful display of magic, action, culture, and the many complex facets of human nature, House of Scarabs is a shining treasure and a definite must-read from a promising new author.
Sounds good right? I was delighted with the review.
But it was the words she sent me privately that really warmed my heart. She used the word 'Wow' and said she 'genuinely loved the story'. I could breathe again.
So What's Next?
I'd planned to launch in August but I've decided to postpone slightly to complete my prequel and have that ready to launch at the same time. I'm currently half way through writing Genesis, the prequel to House of Scarabs. It's set 3,000K years ago in Egypt during the reign of the Pharaohs. I'm loving the change of time and pace. Genesis will foreshadow a lot of the action in House of Scarabs, explaining points that add further insight into the series. I can't wait to share it with you as I'm having such fun writing it. I plan to give it as a thank you gift to anyone joining my mailing list so don't forget to sign up.... join here.
The editing process is more complex that I ever realised as a reader - with editors, beta readers and proof readers all touching the book multiple times before the books can be launched.
I am currently between stage two and three in the chart above. I'm finishing Genesis in the coming 10 days and it will zip off to Coral, my editor, for her to add her magical finesse. While she's doing that, I'll do her suggested amendments to House of Scarabs. We'll swap manuscripts and I'll do her suggestion amendments on Genesis whilst she takes her final look at House of Scarabs and so on...
Launch has been delayed a touch but I still expect to hit a September launch date for both House of Scarabs and Genesis.
I owe Coral a huge thanks for dealing with this author's excessive nerves, and for handling me so gently. Should you need an editor check out her website, Briar Rose Editing, click here
If you'd like to be informed when House of Scarabs and Genesis launch - sign up to my community click here
Until next time - happy reading!