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.