To kick off this blog, I thought I’d offer a brief history of writing the first draft of The Ceruleans series. It began, in fact, as a single book: Death Wish (which was originally two completely different YA books that one day became entangled). I began writing the novel in December of 2012, and I finished the first draft in the third week of February. I was staying in a hotel the night I finished it, and the next morning I wrote this list, entitled ‘Ten Things I Did After Finishing the First Draft of Death Wish’:
- Say, ‘And that’s a wrap.’
- Do a little dance.
- Close curtains having realised strange man outside window was watching little dance.
- Text my husband.
- Facebook it.
- Listen to Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’.
- Back up book files.
- Back up book files again.
- Sit up all night thinking about the next novel.
I took a day off to celebrate completing Death Wish, and then went straight into writing the second book, Forget-Me-Not. I finished that in mid-March. By that point I had realised that this wasn’t to be a three-book series, as I’d originally thought, but a five-book one. So I ploughed on into the third book, Wild Blue Yonder, knowing that soon I’d be halfway. On 15 April 2013 I wrote:
At four p.m. I wrote the 38,000th word of the first draft of Book 3, which places me at the halfway point of this book and of the series. Top of the mountain now. Downhill from here.
I completed the first draft of Wild Blue Yonder on the last day of April, and was all set to get straight into the next. But soon the most I could manage was lying about, watching trash TV, eating dry toast and groaning intermittently: baby on the way = two months of all-day morning sickness to get through.
Finally, one day in June, I found I could once more look at a cup of coffee without shouting ‘Argh! Get it away from me before I vom’, and now, determined to get the series down before my daughter’s arrival, I got stuck back into writing.
I finished the fourth book, Devil and the Deep, at the start of August, and the fifth and final novel, Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully, on the last day of September, a good three months off my due date.
Geek alert: I charted the process: