In 2011, I finished writing, and published, my first novel. Actually, it was my second novel-length manuscript; the first one, Night Terrors, has still yet to see any public light. That was way back in 1992 when I finished that one.
30 years ago!
As you can imagine, my writing style has evolved quite a bit, and to bring Night Terrors to any kind of publishable level, it would require a serious rewrite. I’ve tried to do that on several occasions, but failed each time because the original writing was so, well, flat.
Cold Rock, written and published 20 years later, is more on the early edges of where I am now as a writer. It’s got a good strong voice, and for the most part, it works.
Except the ending.
When I was deep in revision, I received feedback from two individuals, whom I both trusted, that could not have been further apart in how the end of the story might be revised. After considering both options, I went with the one that made the most sense to me at the time.
What I neglected to embrace, however, was a third choice: my own revision of the ending. Instead, I felt, for some reason, that it was either suggestion no. 1 or suggestion no. 2; there were no other options.
Now, 11 years later, I’m picking option no. 3 and finally writing the ending that I think is more perfectly aligned with two areas: 1, the main character’s journey arc; and 2, the intimations of the supernatural throughout. Yes, it’s a pretty scary book at times, and I’m going to run more with that and less with the creepy priest angle that still makes me uncomfortable.
All things considered, this is going to be a quick rewrite, and we’ll be publishing the revised edition under The JAR Writers’ Collective “Vault” collection, maybe as early as this summer.
Here’s the thing, though: since publishing Fossil Five and now Prisms in the last two years, it is absolute fun to rework an old book and make it better for all of you. I hope you like it. I’ll be sure to let you know when it releases.
Back to edits. See you all tomorrow.