Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Guest Author: Nikki Logan

Today, we have a debut author visiting - please give Nikki a warm welcome everyone!!

THE BIRTH OF A BOOK

Elephants gestate for 22 months, giraffes 16 months, orang-utans 8 months.

Debut novels…? Somewhere between an elephant and a giraffe, it seems. My debut ‘Lights, Camera…Kiss the Boss’ was conceived during the Australian equivalent of NaNoWriMo. I began June 2008 with a vague idea of a story and finished it a few days shy
of the last day of the month, weighing in at a healthy 55K and full of the promise of new life. The name on its birth certificate was Love on a Rooftop but I knew it by its nickname, LOAR.
I had a world of fun making that ‘baby’ over the space of a month. The story seemed to just flow out of me, like it had been waiting for me to sit at my computer and set it free. And then, when I was done, I filed it away in my documents as an interesting experiment. It never occurred to me that I should polish it up because it never occurred to me that I would sell it. To anyone.
But I did, to Kimberley Young from Harlequin Mills & Boon (London) who was considering one of LOAR’s sibling manuscripts. She casually asked ‘Do you have anything else I can look at’ and I panicked becasue I didn't, then I remembered little LOAR sitting politely in its room waiting to be invited out to play by the big kids. I polished it up and sent it off like a first day at school. It was raw, it was virtually still stream-of-consciousness stuff. And it was on its way to London!

What was I thinking??

Five months from the day I typed The End on my baby, Kim Young gave me the call. Not just a call, the call. She wanted to buy Love on a Rooftop.

That was it, thought I. Fame and fortune here I come. I started planning my retirement from the day job, I bought floor to ceiling IKEA bookshelves to celebrate (and because that seemed like a writerly thing to do). And then the timelines hit me.

The baby that
I’d written in June 2008 and sold in November 2008 wouldn’t be released until December 2009. Thirteen months from the date of sale, eighteen from completion. And then it got pushed back to February 2010 to be part of a special series month and suddenly my baby’s gestation was around twenty agonising months.

I could have made m
ost of an elephant in that time! And me so bad with delayed gratification.

*sigh*

The gestation has been filled with exciting firsts. My first revisions, my first contract, my first advance-cheque, my first author alterations, my first title, my first cover, my first hard-copy-in-the-hands-honest-to-goodness-books and… finally…my first release date.

All writer-things, meaningless to others but the stuff that keeps all of us going. And must be like the first ultrasound for expecting mums. The first heartbeat, the first kick, the first smile, the first step.

Valentines weekend 2010 may be the one I remember for the rest of my life. Even more than the time I got twenty-four anonymous roses on my doorstep. It’s the week my book debuts and the whole world gets to see how I spent June 2008 and a whole lot of months in between. It’s the week I introduce Ava Lange and Daniel Arnot to the planet; all their barely disguised chemistry and complicated history. Their special brand of happy-ever-after.
It’s the day my baby has its first birthday—in elephant years. I hope you can all come to the party!

Lights, Cam
era…Kiss the Boss debuts in February 2010 (March 2010 in Australia & New Zealand) Or be kind to the planet and grab an electronic copy from www.eharlequin.com or your favourite e-book store right now.

Nikki's Website: www.nikkilogan.com.au – A Romance with Nature

11 comments :

Diane said...

Good luck Nikki!

orannia said...

Nikki - thank you so much. That was a wonderful post! (I love the gestation analogy :) If your book flows that way then I definitely want to read it!

All the best with the release and your next project!

Maria said...

We readers are often under the misimpression that a writer sits down at their desk and cranks out the book in 2 weeks and then sends it off to a publisher who reads it and buys it right off the bat and then it gets publlished a couple of months later. Your post was very refressing and highlights the real process that most writers go thru. Best of luck with your release!

Anonymous said...

But I imagine it feels all the more rewarding because of the wait. Congratulations on your debut, Nikki. Happy Birthday!

Janine

NIKKI LOGAN said...

Thanks Diane! So far so good!

Orannia (love your avatar pic) - I'm a bit partial to wildlife, can you tell? LOL. Thanks for the good wishes and hope you enjoy 'Lights Camera...'. Everything I write will have a nature flavour so you and I will get on just FINE!

Maria - Two weeks...I can dream! I heard a quote once from a hollywood actor who said he acted for free but he got paid for all the waiting around. I think it's the same for writers. For me, I write fast and furious for however long (never less than a month cos I also work full time) which is pure joy and I pretty much do it for *me*. It's like watching a month-long movie. Awesome. But then the edit takes at least that long again and that's more of a slog (left-brain right-brain) but the idea is that you are left with a hybrid of creative-process and craft which ... hopefully... gets ticks in all the boxes over at your editor's office. And then you have the juggling of your new book, revisions on your last one, final proof checks etc on the one before, promo on the one just out... and before you know it all that time gets eaten up by other things. It's a constant, fabulous cycle.

Janine - thank you so much. It absolutely *is* rewarding.

Eleni Konstantine said...

Congrats Nikki. It's been a long gestation but huzzah! your baby is out there. It was a privilege to see your work go from draft to published. I thoroughly enjoyed LCKTB!! You definitely have arrived :))

NIKKI LOGAN said...

LOL - thank you Eleni. Good to see you here.

Jennifer K. said...

Best of luck, Nikki. I greatly enjoyed your explantion of the process. I can't imagine (being the impatient type) having to wait that long to see a "finished" product. Whew!

Christina Phillips said...

Congratulations, Nikki! Not long now till we see your baby on the shelves. Can't wait!!

NIKKI LOGAN said...

Jennifer, I share your pain. The waiting would be so much worse if I wasn't kept so busy on the next one and the one after that. But hey...what a fabulous problem to have, right?

Nalini - thanks so much for having me here. It's so lovely to be hosted by a NYT top 10 best-seller. Massive congratulations!! Now thoroughly in awe... :)

Christina - why hello and thank you. I must be due over at your blog in...(looks at calendar)...oh NOW! Ha. Guess I'd better get my butt over there, then.

Night everyone and huge thanks for popping in to read or comment. See you again I hope :)

Laurann Dohner said...

Congrats! I'm sure it was worth the wait! Terrific story!!!