I think it’s really about process. At the very beginning there is a notion. Like for this book, The Crusader’s Hoard, I knew I wanted to go to Petra, Jordan with my characters. Then came the research and building the plot and all the reading about the history of the area. After that I narrowed it down to a time period, or in the case of Mabel Hartley, two time periods and researching both to get a sense of how I want to build a story that is set in the present but draws much of its substance from being deeply routed in the past. Such are my stories and how I weave them together from nothing but a notion.
Once the research is complete, I launch myself headlong into writing the first draft and every day I wonder what will come from the glorious melting pot that is creativity and my characters merging together with all the research. The writing for this story started on March 2 and finished on June 11, 2015.
This is also the most wondrous part where I feel like I’m galloping away to a far off land and the minutes and hours at my house cease to hold me. I am transported to a place where I can see the characters and hear their conversations and I just become a vessel for the words to flow through.
After the dizzying flight to write the next story in the series is complete, I take my manuscript and I ask my focus group of beta readers to help me assess what I’ve missed, what doesn’t make sense and what needs further reconstruction. But as this goes on, I am also seeing my way to the end and that means doing what I did today.
Applying for an ISBN # or the numbers that will identify my book and make it distinct from all the others in the world. My book now has a signature, if you like, that tracks it across the world. And it is almost euphoric seeing a number assigned because it means I’m almost there, almost to the point where I can share a new story with readers and let it leave the nest and fly out into the world on its own merits, to be enjoyed, and to become part of the greater library of the world of fiction.
Next? Onto to copyright, library and archives Canada catalogue info (which appears in the first pages of the book), and the book cover for the Crusader’s Hoard.