The 'What if' Stage.
Finally, after several months, book thirteen is ready to go to beta-readers. This Haunted World Book Two: The Eleventh Floor has been researched, slaved over, and honed to as fine a piece of fiction as I can get it. The months, the weeks, the hours spent over it have come to a head - although I know every single scene, every single word even off by heart, I can't actually 'see' it anymore. I'm just too close to it. It needs several pairs of fresh eyes, those who can spot the glaring errors, who can tell at a glance what works and what doesn't. But what if…
They might hate it, this novel you've poured your heart and soul into, they may look at me in a puzzled manner and say 'seriously, did you write this?' There really isn't any way to anticipate feedback… you just have to sit tight and see.
Despite how nerve-wracking it is, I find beta readers invaluable. I have a core handful who are tried and trusted and really rather brutal. Sometimes I've shed a tear or two (maybe a river) at their insistence that certain elements don't work when I really thought they did. And so ensures the rewrite and another examination by a second set of beta readers (and yep, more amends!!)
From feedback so far for This Haunted World Book Two: The Eleventh Floor I know it's a good 'un. Yes, I've had to refine/rewrite a fair amount, but the beta readers like it and if they like it, I'm happy. One even went so far as to say it's the best thing I've written… ever.
Now it goes to RoseWolf Designs for the cover and Jeff Gardiner for the edits. One book, so many people. Whoever said writing is a lonely profession?
This Haunted World Book Two: The Eleventh Floor - scheduled for September release.