Tara Hyland - Daughters of Fortune

4 August 2010

Not too much to report lately. I've been to a couple of events held by my publishers. The first was a drinks evening with bloggers in July.  It was held at my publisher's offices, and I met some great people, including Amanda at Floor to Ceiling Books, who wrote a lovely review of Daughters of Fortune: http://floor-to-ceiling-books.blogspot.com/2010/07/daughters-of-fortune-by-tara-hyland.html  All the bloggers were frighteningly young, and so passionate about books (and Pimms and cup cakes!)  Also at the event were fellow authors Paige Toon and Chris Carter.  We signed each other's books and generally caught up.  It's always nice to meet other authors at these things, as you can share experiences, and realise that you aren't as neurotic as you feared!


Then last night (3 August), I went to a wonderful pub, the Old Crown, on New Oxford Street, to meet London booksellers.  I talked to some fab people from Waterstones, Hatchards and Foyles, among others, and was totally overhwhelmed by how well-read they all were.  It put me to shame.


Other than that, I'm at the waiting stage with Book 2.  But I've been talking about writing something on editing, so here it is (in relation to progress on my second book).  Basically, I finished my first draft of Book 2 at the beginning of March this year, and sent it off to my editors.  Two months later (oh, yes - it all takes time!) they sent me their thoughts.  This basically takes the form of a letter, with overall thoughts (say, on characters that seem inconsistent, or plot lines that might be a bit irrelevant), and then detailed line comments (where they point out that you've used the same name for five different characters!)  Some authors seem very precious about making changes to their manuscripts.  I'm not.  I have to say, I always get to a point with my books where I can't see the wood for the trees.  I know something isn't working, but I have no idea what it is.  That's when I know it's time to send the manuscript off.  The editors then look it with fresh eyes, and invariably point out exactly what's going wrong.  Just reading their thoughts gives me fresh perspective on the book, and starts my mind darting off in different directions.  I also think the enforced break from the manuscript helps, too.  Even if you're unpublished, I think it's worth going through this process of getting someone else to read your manuscript once it's finished, and before you send it off to agents.  if you can get some good feedback, it will help you perfect your work before sending it off. 


So after receiving my editors' letters, I then spent about six weeks reworking the book.  Some parts remained the same, while others were totally reworked.  I completely changed the main love interest (the relationship between him and the heroine had been labelled childish before), and I cut out a secondary storyline, which I decided was just confusing the main plot.  The new draft then went back to the editors at the beginning of July.  Hopfully it was an improved version, although I definitely changed more than I was asked to.  Now I just have to wait for the verdict from my editors... 


Other than that, I would like to again thank all the lovely readers who take the time to get in touch and tell me how much they loved Daughters of Fortune.  It's always so nice to hear!  And for those wondering about the second book - it sounds like it'll be out next September in the UK and Commonwealth, and I'm still waiting to hear about the US.  I'll keep you informed.



Bespoke Websites UK Judith Barrett