After nine novels, you’d think you know what you’re doing. Well, sometimes you’re wrong. And not just a little wrong. Wrong on every level. Fractal wrongness.
Oh, book. Book, book, book.
The book stats
Title: Spy for a Spy.
Genre: Romantic suspense
Inspiration: I don’t . . . really know. I think I was brainstorming ideas for what I’d like to see Talia take on next, and playing the what-if game, figuring out who the worst, messiest antagonist would be, and how I could make it worse from there.
Writing dates: January? to July 2013.
Length: 70,000 words in the first draft; 88,000-ish in the final version.
Back cover copy:
Canada is probably the last place you’d expect to find an American spy. And it was the last place CIA operative Talia Reynolds expected to run into fellow operative Brand Copley. AKA her new boss. AKA her ex-boyfriend.
Just the guy every woman wants to face in the middle of planning her wedding. Once again, Talia’s lying to the man she loves, but this time, to protect his heart.
After Brand takes over Talia’s latest case and steals her newest agent, he assigns her to spy on her old boss—who’s suddenly giving her every reason not to trust him. With only weeks until the big day, planning falls by the wayside as she goes into damage control mode. But when Talia discovers Brand’s real motives, fighting him is the only option, no matter what the personal and professional cost.
What I learned from this book
For a long time, I had no idea what to put here, except for this story:
From the beginning, I knew where I wanted this story to go. I knew why the bad guy was bad, I knew what I wanted to do with the main characters, I knew how I wanted the romance to play out. But then, somehow, it just . . . didn’t. It didn’t quite come together.
Naturally, it didn’t help that I had to interrupt the writing of this novel to have a baby, launch I, Spy, move, and recover. It also didn’t help that because of time constraints, I had to start this novel through my critique group when it was only about 2/3s done. I finally finished the last third not long before I had to send it off, and by then I was starting to get a handle on it, but still. When we started working with my book, it became obvious there were problems that ran deeper than repeating the same paragraph practically word-for-word in six place in the book. (What the heck, brain?!)
Finally, in one meeting, one of my critique partners flat-out told me: “[Bad guy]’s motivation needs to be X.”
And I nearly cried. I don’t think Emily and Julie noticed, but I really did tear up at that moment. Not because my CP was hurting my feelings—but because that was the exact motivation I’d hoped to use, hoped to get across, hoped to convey. Somewhere along the way, I’d lost hope of being able to do that effectively. But to have her point it out not only restored my faith that I might actually be able to do this whole writing thing, but also showed me that I must have done something right in setting it up, and all I needed to do was go back to where the story got off track.
And add another 10,000 words. And edit the whole thing to death. Then send it out to my editor. And edit it again. And again. And then format the ebook. And then typeset the print book.
Kinda hated the book at that point.
As hard as this whole experience was, and as fresh as it is, somehow, I’m already starting to see the good. In just the last few weeks, I’ve managed to stop hating it. Seriously, there were moments as recently as last week where I considered pulling the plug on publishing this novel—or on publishing in general.
But I figured I owed it to the six people who cared (kidding), and I’d already put in all the work (sunk cost is a logical fallacy, self—well, sort of . . . I mean, if I didn’t hit publish, I’d definitely never recoup my investment, right?). The reviews on my blog tour have been so wonderful & so kind, it’s really changed my perspective on what ended up being a somewhat bitter experience to something that I’ve come through a stronger writer and a better person—and a book I might even like.
Speaking of the blog tour! I’ve got some catching up to do on sharing the stops!
Lindzee Armstrong + My top 10 ways to FAIL as a spy
I Love to Read and Review Books + a wonderful review!
Getting Your Read On + an amazing review!
Read a lot Rhonda with a great review!
Westhoff Family Using your spy skills for . . . awesome.
Colorimetry Interview: find out what my favorite scenes in this book were . . . sort of 😉
Ranee` S. Clark Interview: I spill the truth about my past as a spy + Spy tips for . . . potty training? + a fantastic review. Ranee`’s got it going ON!
Lisa Swinton Spy tips for your next RenFaire. I’m totally not kidding.
Promoting my books has never been so fun! PLUS we haven’t even gotten to tomorrow’s Facebook/Twitter launch party!! Come join us!
Photo credits: fractal wrongness—the mad LOLscientist