The projected date of arrival of actual hardcover Gone From These Woods books in Random House’s warehouses is July 6! Hopefully, pre-ordered books will begin shipping soon after that. Of course I’m excited about actually seeing my book in person. The advance reader’s copy is not the actual book.
Here’s some history on the creation of this novel. First, I spent about two years writing and rewriting the early drafts. During that time, I debuted the first chapter at my writers’ group’s annual joint meeting with the Augusta Writers in Washington, Georgia. There, Elise Weston, author of Coast Watchers, read the beginning of Daniel’s story in her rich, southern accent, even pronouncing his last name correctly. (Sar-tain, rather than the quicker Sarten).
The last week of February, 2007, I attended the SCBWI Southern Breeze SpringMingle writers conference in Atlanta, Georgia. I listened to editors there read my first page and comment. It was Michelle Poploff’s comments on that beginning, plus her presentations that weekend, that put the idea in my head to mail her the first few chapters.
After requesting the entire manuscript, Michelle bought Gone From These Woods on Friday the 13th, 2007.
Rewriting followed. And followed and followed. Yes, the saying “writing is rewriting” is so true. Then production. Copyediting. First Pass. And more “passes.”
The result is my debut novel, Gone From These Woods. Let’s hope it’s also gone from those bookshelves and in readers’ hands soon.