This, Blogger tells me, is my 300th post which seems auspicious because the news today is that my work in progress is finished. (For now).
Yes, after 17 months of research and writing, The Black and The White has reached a version I am happy to send off to my prospective agent.
I have to confess that part of me just wants to send it straight off to my editor, Will, at Macmillan, but the other, more strategic, part of me knows that I need an agent. So, agentwards TB&TW will go today. Actually, I'll probably just give him a quick email first to see whether now might be an appropriate moment to land a longish typescript in his inbox. (Just short of 144 000 words).
As ever, it's an odd sensation to have finished because 'finished' is a decision rather than a distinct state.
I know perfectly well that if I were to start working through it again I'd find other things I want to change but it'd be nitty-gritty, change-a-word-here, remove-a-comma-there stuff so I need to leave it and walk away. I need to look up from my laptop screen and remember what it is I do around the place when I'm not spending the majority of my waking hours with my head in the fourteenth century.
Apart from stuff around the house (anybody know a truly mould-resistant sealant for showers?) the biggest thing waiting to be done is the additional material our publisher wants for the autism book. The deadline for that is the end of October so I need to get a move on with that but I'm actually looking forward to it – it comes from a different part of my brain and is so much more under my control than the fiction that it's rather restful!
As well as that, I'll also be starting on the research and thinking for the next book.
It's a bit like 'the king is dead, long live the king.' The book is finished, clear the desk for work on the next one...