Chalk Up Another One

It is done.

I speak of the new Markhat book, BROWN RIVER QUEEN. I just added the words THE END to the first draft.

Another novel. Seventy-odd thousand of what I believe to be the right words. Written at a time of my life when frankly I'm surprised I was able to write at all.

I love this book. Maybe I've hit my stride at last. Maybe I've gotten to know the characters and Markhat's world so well I'm finally able to show it with clarity to you, the reader.

Maybe I just got lucky.

Whatever the case, I love this book. It's got thrills and chills and surprises. Long-time Markhat fans, who've been along for the whole ride, are going to learn some new things, and understand some familiar faces a lot better.

Now keep in mind I've haven't sold BROWN RIVER QUEEN yet. In this business, there are no sure things. But a part of me is absolutely certain this new book will be accepted, because yeah, it's that good.

I spent yesterday re-reading big chunks of it, getting ready to write the epic dust-up at the end. I'll be honest with you -- more than once, I read a portion, and was honestly amazed that those words came from my rather addled and dysfunctional brain. Seriously, folks, it's a mess in here. Did I really write that?

Now the real work begins. A first draft is just the beginning. There will  be re-readings. There will be re-writes. A couple of people out there are going to be heartily sick of BROWN RIVER QUEEN before anything hits an editor's desk.

And, assuming the book sells, then will come more of the same. Re-reads. Re-writes. Line edits. Did I have the sun rise on page 134 and again on page 136, even though only six hours had passed? Was Markhat wearing a black hat on 98, and a grey one on 101? Did I spell grey gray or grey? Did I use stair or stairs consistently throughout?

But I'll do all that work, and I'll do it gladly, because that is the only way to put out a book worth its price.

I may never get rich at this game.

BROWN RIVER QUEEN may never sell a million copies. May never be made into a big-budget movie.

But by gum, it will be a good book. And people will read it, and say to themselves at the end "That was a darned good book."

And that's the highest praise I can conceive.

The End.