Erin Green Author - blog
'A Shetland Christmas Carol' has officially left the building! On my final morning of structural edits, I cried three times! Yep, you read that correctly – I made myself cry by reading and amending specific chapters. That has happened with previous books for various reasons. This time I think it was a combination of the details, tiredness and the thought of saying ‘goodbye’ to characters who I’ve lived with, on a daily basis, since April 2019. And, it definitely is goodbye! I’ve had a couple of readers contact me and ask if there’s a Book 5 in the pipeline – the answer is ‘no’. I’m not keeping secret surprises, I’m being honest – no.
On pressing the ‘send’ button forwarding the amended manuscript to my agent and editor, I felt numb. It’s the strangest sensation; I’ve worked for a month to deliver the goods then once it’s been sent you simply sit staring at the screen. Weird author behaviour. Anyway, I soon needed tea, so moved on from the moment.
Almost immediately, my brain threw up three tiny little details that I’d wished I’d included. This is typical of me, it happens every time so I have a notes sheet already waiting for when the copy edits arrive back. On one occasion, I actually thought of a better ending for a book when I woke the next morning so emailed asking for the manuscript to be returned. Seriously, I did. My editor must have thought I’d lost the plot rather than created an improved version. Anyway, I rewrote the ending within a day and away it went for a second time. I should be grateful I only have a notes sheet for Shetland 4.
So now what? Firstly, my brain has to download the information which I’ve been cramming for several months. It’s a bit like the day after an exam, all those little bits, strategies and planning needs to fade which only occurs when you turn your mind to something else. It doesn't fade simply by switching to another book, so I complete tasks enabling the spring clean to occur. I’ve kept myself busy by painting watercolours, long dog walks, reading and completing my bell ringing homework which is a mental challenge in itself. I’ll elaborate on the final activity in another post as readers and other writers have previously shown interest in what we actually do given we don’t have sheet music in front of us whilst ringing. I know from experience that some readers won’t have realised that before; a ringer has to remember the method pattern that is being rung, like dance steps but with bells.
I’ve had Friday, Saturday and Sunday off to clear the little grey cells and tomorrow, bright and early on Monday morning, I’ll be returning to my desk. I have a short story that I wish to capture plus, I have my Camp NaNo to complete before 30th April. My participation in Camp NaNo was affected by Shetland 4’s structural edits arriving, so I haven’t had the creative fun that I usually experience with a NaNo project. I have one final week to grab that opportunity.
And my final task for this weekend, in preparation for tomorrow’s return to work is … I’ve repainted my writing chair. Having written and published ten book using the same little chair I fancied a change. I’ve waved ‘goodbye’ to the duck egg shade of blue and hollered ‘hello’ to a fresh repaint in a delightful pale green. If you’re wondering why I use such a crass, wooden, hard backed chair (let’s face it an old pub chair) and not some luxurious padded, all tilting, all swivelling, with head and arm rests, namely a proper author chair – it is simple. By using my little wooden one, I have to stand up every thirty minutes which is better for my body, spine and eyes; as it gets me away from the screen.