Crazy Revision Brain / Guest Edition

Lenore Appelhans–What Was on Her . . .


Lenore Appelhans

Lenore Appelhans


Hot off the press. The first guest edition of What Was on Her . . . with Lenore Appelhans.

Lenore is the author of the Memory Chronicles and the recently-released picture book Chick-o-Saurus Rex, illustrated by her husband, Daniel Jennewein. Lenore is also widely known for her five-year-running book blog, Presenting Lenore. Here, through a re-creation of events two weeks ago, Lenore gives us a bit of insight into what goes on the few days before an author’s book deadline.

What Was on Lenore Appelhans’s . . .

Agenda: Revisions for Chasing Before, the sequel to The Memory of After. This would be the third major draft. Editor asked for significant plot changes. I added: nearly 20,000 words, several new key scenes, very cool backstory, more emotional heft to the final showdown, a whole new character and worldbuilding/setting details. I also completely rewrote one major character. Also, line edits. I had about six weeks to pull this off.

Mind (stream of consciousness): “Why did I include all of these unnecessary dialogue tags?” (Four hours later) “I hate dialogue tags!”

“Chocolate! I need chocolate. And coffee.”

3 a.m. day of deadline: “OMG – I have to change one of these redshirt characters into a man, or else readers are going to think I only kill women off.”

(cat howls, stomps on keyboard) (Lenore craughs – “cry + laugh”) (cat howls louder because she thinks Lenore is dying)

4 a.m. “This is a masterpiece.” (sends to editor) (commences freak-out and waiting) (crashes)

9 a.m. (wakes up in a cold sweat) “What in the world did I send in last night?!” (thinks of about a trillion things that still need to be fixed)

Desk: Scattered scraps of paper with furiously scribbled (nearly unintelligible) notes. Copy of The Memory of After for fact checking purposes. Angry cat.

To-Do List that Never Got Done: Everything not book related. At least I showered.

Stovetop: Daniel’s cooking for me! So nice to have him feeding me real food while I go through deadline insanity.

Playlist: I have a Chasing Before playlist that I listen to non-stop. Also, two days before deadline, I bought the album Bad Blood by Bastille. It is freaky how many themes it shares with Chasing Before. The whole album could be the soundtrack to my book. The singer/songwriter Dan Smith and I must be sharing a muse.


To keep up to date with Lenore, follow her at and on twitter @lenoreva

 Sandra Nickel

6 thoughts on “Lenore Appelhans–What Was on Her . . .

  1. Thank you for this guest post, Sandra and Lenore! I believe Presenting Lenore was one of the blogs that supported my debut YA novel, Gringolandia, and now I get to know the reviewer. Good luck with your new book, Lenore! Those short deadlines are crazy, but I know in my case, if I didn’t have a short deadline, I would have ignored the long deadline until it became a short deadline.

    • Ha! Lyn, that’s the diversity of the world, isn’t it. Some of us can’t stand the stress of the last-minute and some of us thrive on it! You are obviously a thriver–Lenore too. Word is that her editor LOVED what she did.

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