Today I’d like to welcome bestselling author Karen White, who is sharing some thoughts about writing.
One of her previously released books, Falling Home, will soon be released again—in November 2010.
The Hungry Writer
Have you ever gone shopping in a grocery store when you’re really, really hungry? Don’t. Because what you’ll end up bringing home is a lot of Hostess Twinkies and a party-sized tub of whipping cream among other things that should probably never be seen outside a fraternity house on a Friday night.
I’m currently in my fourth year of writing two full-length novels per year. Yes, two. I don’t know what possessed me to say, “Sure, that sounds like fun!” but I’d like to find out whatever it was and open a can of whoop-a** on it. Having so many books on the shelves has brought me a lot of new readers for all of my books, and for that it’s worth it. But I really, really miss my sleep.
So when the rights to one of my out-of-print books, Falling Home, reverted back to me, I immediately sold them to my current publisher for a re-release. This was the book of my heart back when I wrote it in 2000. I sold it to a small New York publisher with hopes that it would be my “break out novel”, but I was disappointed with its small print run and how quickly it became out of print. Soon, desperate fans were paying really ridiculous amounts to get a used copy of it, and I was answering lots of emails asking me how readers could find a copy.
When my current publisher suggested publishing it in November of this year, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I already had a book out in 2010 (On Folly Beach) so this way I would STILL have two books out, but I wouldn’t have to do any extra work! Oh, the plans of mice and men…
Since “biting off more than I can chew” has become my new mantra in the last few years, instead of saying, “Hey, it’s good to go—publish as is,” I hesitated. I had written ten other books since I’d first written Falling Home. Hadn’t my writing become stronger? My ability to tell a story tighter and more meaningful?
Just as a hungry girl walks into the grocery store, I told my editor that I wanted to revise the book. I loved what my readers loved about the book—the story and the characters. It’s a “Steel Magnolias” story set in the fictional small town of Walton, Georgia and is about two estranged sisters who reunite to fight a common enemy. My hope is to create a lot of laughs and a few tears as readers fall in love with the citizens of Walton—and especially Sam Parker, the town doctor.
What I wanted to change was the writing and the emotional impact of the book. So I opted to rewrite it, despite that fact that I had another looming deadline for the next book.
So, did I do the right thing? Yes, I feel pretty confident that I did. The book is better, and I’m so glad that new readers will have the chance to read it for the first time and I believe that readers of the older version will enjoy revisiting favorite characters.
Of course, now I’m so far behind on my next deadline that I’m desperately searching the Internet for somewhere to buy a clone. So far no luck, but I’ll keep you posted.
Hope you’ll stop by on October 6 for Karen White’s interview with the Dames!