In a Fix is the second novel I wrote, and the first one I sent out into the world.
I’m very lucky (A) that it got me a wonderful agent (the amazing Never-Say-Die Michelle Wolfson) and (B) that it sold. (Yay, Tor! Hooray, Melissa Frain, Editor Extraordinaire!)
Not that I didn’t rack up my fair share of rejections with it, both on the agent front and, later, on the editor front. Believe me, I have plenty of battle scars. (If we ever meet in person, we can compare, if you like. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. *grin*)
But since this post is supposed to be about the books we left behind, I guess I’ll have to tell you about my first baby.
*sigh* I still love that book. Warts and all.
When I finished writing it (let’s not go into how long that took me), my hubs made me a special manuscript box for it:
Wasn’t that sweet of him? He found letter stickers that look like typewriter keys to spell out the title and my name. The paw on the upper left side is kind of self-explanatory, and this . . .
. . . is a singularly appropriate sticker he came across. Catspaw is paranormal suspense, and the characters would do well to put safety first. Though, of course, they don’t. Wouldn’t be much of a book if they did.
When I finished Catspaw, I had every intention to start shopping it around. But I just wasn’t ready. Or rather, I didn’t think it was ready. However, I knew I was still too close to it to be ruthless enough with the revisions, so I decided to put it away for a few months, to give myself some distance.
(Distance is the best revision tool I know of—nothing makes problems with a manuscript visible quite like not staring at it for a while.)
To keep myself busy while I was waiting for those ms faults to float to the top, I decided to write another book. As luck would have it, while I was in my car traveling down the Fairfax County Parkway one day, I happened to spot a vanity license plate with the name “Ciel” on it, and bingo, my new MC was born. She was quick to blurt out her whole story while I feverishly took dictation.
Frankly, I had so much fun writing In a Fix, I never went back to Catspaw. The poor thing is still languishing in its box, waiting for me to fulfill my promise to it. (GAH! The guilt!) I decided to shop In a Fix instead, just for grins. And now I’m almost done with Quick Fix, the second book in the series, and have ideas bopping around in my head for the next one after that. (Gosh, that makes it sound all fast and easy, doesn’t it? That’s only because I left out the boring part about how many times I rewrote it for CPs and my agent and my editor along the way. Trust me, it was work. Fun work, but still work.)
But anyway, it’s not like I intentionally abandoned Catspaw. I still think I’ll get back to it someday, when my fling with light urban fantasy has run its course. I just hope it’ll forgive me when I do.
So, do you have anything tucked away out of sight making you feel guilty?
If not a book you wrote, maybe one you bought on impulse but haven’t gotten around to reading?
Or perhaps an outfit you bought but never wore? A half-made quilt? A boyfriend overseas you said you’d get back to but then somehow married somebody else instead?
(Not that I *cough* have personal experience with any of those. Much.)