Yesterday the official word went out. My third novel now has a title--Love, Lucy--and a publication date--Fall 2014. Inspired by A Room With a View, it centers on 17-year-old Lucy Sommersworth who, after falling for a street musician while backpacking in Florence faces the realities of her freshman year of college.
So much went into Love, Lucy. Three years of writing and revision. Three research trips. (I know, cry me a river!) So much angst over whether or not it would gel into an actual novel. As I wrote, I grew increasingly fond of Lucy, and more and more worried her story would wind up unfinished, slumbering forever on a zip drive.
Luckily throughout much of the process I've had the guidance of not one but two fantastic editors. Now I've mostly graduated from the big stuff--adding in and subtracting plot points--to the sentence-by- sentence work: cutting out the excess, smoothing what's left, trying to make the prose sing.
There are deadlines to keep and there's still much work still to be done, but instead of continuously wondering if I'm headed for a dead end, I now know I'm pointed toward an actual destination. And that really does make a difference.