The Heretic is off to David Gatewood
On April 29th, I said I had finished the first draft of The Heretic. The next phase was to run through my own editing. Now that process is finished and the manuscript is ready to send off to David, who is currently editing Jason Gurley's Eleanor. I've added, subtracted, expanded and tightened and I am genuinely thrilled with the result. I know (in fact I am banking on it) that David will critique it strongly and there are areas where much will change. There's no way I am able to maintain perspective now and I need someone else, someone professional, to tear it apart and find its weaknesses.
So you know, it's now 45,887 words. Formatted for CreateSpace, that's 164 pages. I read it through one last time this morning. When it ended, I was ready for Part Two, but that cannot happen until Part One is absolutely perfect.
Because I want you to love reading it, as much as I've enjoyed writing it. I want you to need to read Part Two, Defiance, as much as I need to start writing it. Actually, I've already started. One afternoon, in Pret near Victoria (too much information?), I saw Natasha dancing through my subconscious and knew exactly, suddenly, who she was. So I grabbed a mug of tea and sat for an hour-and-a-half and spilled out 1,000 words of darkness and pain, which is the way she begins her journey with us.
Strong female leads have become fashionable and I'm glad about that. But I had to ask myself, can a man really write a strong female lead? Does it become all about the male perception of women seeping into the writing, betraying my own preconceptions, or can I really write from the perspective of this particular woman? Like everyone, she will have a part to play in the events which will unfold and change the way humanity lives, forever.
I sent six copies off to beta readers this morning too, and I confess to a frisson of fear as I did. Three go to published authors I respect and who've agreed to beta for me - Michael Bunker, Nadine Matheson and Alex Roddie. Three others are friends who love the genre. I am still seeking more through Goodreads and, if anyone reading this wants to beta read – and provide structured critical analysis, feel free to contact me.
July publication date for The Heretic – mark it in your diaries!