Quietly, toward the end of last week, word came that the manuscript for You, Jane survived editing and has “entered production.” I will touch it one more time before the e-book is published in June, when I get to review the galley for final proofing. Soon I’ll see the cover art, too, which makes for a fun milestone in the process leading to publication.
Before I dive into pre-publication promotion (say that three times quickly, I dare you), I’m making space for a moment of celebration and gratitude. This manuscript took a lot of work to become what my editor, the wonderful Diane B., called “a good read.” It’s structure is complex (I seem to make everything more difficult than it needs to be!) and merging the real world of its characters with the fables, written by Jane, that drive essential elements of the story presented some significant challenges. I spent most of late November and December in intensive revisions, often done late at night after my “paid work” for the day was done. It was grueling, and exhilarating, all at the same time.
There’s no doubt in my mind: You, Jane is a better book than it could have been without Diane’s help. Her willingness to call for a major revision made it possible for You, Jane to grow into itself. I’ve learned a lot and I’m grateful for the entire process.
Writing is solitary, no doubt, except that it’s also collaborative. You, Jane is a case study in this elemental contradiction of the art form. I’m thrilled that it will get its chance to reach an audience.
Oh, what’s it about? Well, here’s the blurb:
Jane Margaret Blake’s problem isn’t her drinking. Sure, she’s missing work, and forgetting she’s already fed her cat, who’s getting a little fat. But Jane’s real problem is the reason why she drinks: she writes stories that come true and wreak havoc in her life. In her “fables,” animals, people, angels, and the Universe itself conspire to destroy Jane’s last chance to be with her old love. Or, just maybe, they are bringing her into the arms of a new love.
Years ago, a fable pushed Jane’s best friend Charlie into marrying another woman. Now another fable shoves Charlie’s little boy in front of an angry dog – or worse, a wicked spirit bent on getting Jane and Charlie to face the truths they’ve spent a lifetime avoiding. As her drinking and stories spiral out of control, Jane must finally discover how to write her own happy ending.