What’s it really like to write a novel?

What’s it really like to write a novel?

What’s it really like to write a novel? And don’t give me a bullshit hallmark answer, tell me what it’s actually like to put something like that into the world. 
~Hana Corison, Taos, NM.

This question made me laugh, and we all know there’s no danger of a bullshit answer from me, so brace yourself, Hana;)

I put together a few details you may not know if you’re not in the business, but even with the ups and downs of the industry, I want to put it out there that the core of why I write like I do is love. I’m in wild, passionate love with writing, in all its sensual, thematic beauty, and I can’t imagine doing anything else than slinging ink in your direction.

And I’m grateful for the chance to do just that, for you. Hana, here’s a look into the chaotic backstage of novel writing, which I hope doesn’t give you Stephan King-esque nightmares:

The sheer volume of corrections is insane. Like, if you string them end to end they would reach from the New Jersey Turnpike to the Mississippi Delta.
When you’ve finally finished the novel, patted yourself on the back, and whisked it off to your editor, it will return to you from said editor with no less than 6,000+ corrections and notes for a typical length book. I shit you not. You may or may not also hear horror movie music in the background as you open your beloved book to see a swirling sea of virtual red ink. This is where some authors roll their eyes and reach for the whiskey.
(That’s me. I’m some authors.)
Now, only a handful of those, usually less than a hundred, are about content and storyline; most are typos and grammatical notes. But every single one of them has to be addressed and corrected by you, at least once. Some come back to haunt you with over and over like a dodgy sausage from a late-night street vendor and you’ll start contemplating a rewarding career at your local Dairy Queen.
(Also me.)

The amount of people in your life that think a character is based on them is also insane. Like, they’re convinced and ready to sue me for defamation of character. 
Dude, I’ve got future characters lurking in the prohibition speakeasy that is the back of my mind that have been waiting their turn for years. Just standing there, in those kitten heels with a dry martini and that little paper number they’re waving in my face when I even start to look their way.
There is zero room to bring in more hopefuls. I need a better lock for the door now.
I mean, damn.

The steadfast assumption from readers that the sex your characters are having comes from your real life. 
The pressed against the brick walls in rainslicked alleys sex, the restraint marks on your wrists sex, naked on the police chief’s desk sex, the back of the boat ….
Never mind. That’s true.

Moving on….The fact that authors don’t always get a say in cover art and marketing materials. 
I’m lucky in this respect. Bold Strokes Books have been a dream to work with, and they involve me in every step of the process. But I know other authors in different boats that have little to no say in what their books look like, what the blurb on the back says, why there’s a picture of Jodie Foster tattooed on my thigh….Wait. Well, the first two anyway.

The agony of tech disaster is real. 
Last First Kiss is one of my most loved and most successful books, for which I have my readers to thank.
But what some of you don’t know is, you’re reading the second Last First Kiss. The first one, all 74,589 words of it, disappeared like vapor when my computer crashed one dark, lonely morning before the sun had even risen. The manuscript was due in five days.
It was my first thriller, so all those little red herrings, the plot twists so fine and interwoven I couldn’t even think about recreating them, ….gone. In less than one second. I was gutted.
So I cried, I drank, and then I got back to work. I wrote the one on your bookshelf in 76 days. And until I wrote Windswept, it remained my best work.

I’ll sum up the process of writing books for you like this…It’s a privilege. And so far, the greatest love of my life.





4 Replies to “What’s it really like to write a novel?”

  1. Ok I laughed out loud while reading this. Loved this insight to your work, tattoos and… yes sex-life! 😈🤣❤️ your novels are awesome! I always go back to Wild Wales.

    1. Hey Boasie! I love that Wild Wales is your favorite. I love it too, I actually read it through on a Saturday a few weeks ago. I love the magic, I think…. which I never intended to be in there, by the way. But a certain whiskey-swilling character in oxblood shoes convinced me otherwise. Took me forever to get her to tell me what the hell to do with the picture frames, and she never did let me in on the secret about the statue in the garden. Guess I didn’t need to know.;)
      True story.

  2. I, for one, can’t wait to meet the future characters that are hanging around in your head ( patiently waiting ;)and read their storys that you bring kicking into the world.
    Sling the ink and continue to share your amazing characters and sex scenes that make me crazy 😉