Debut Novel Comes Gradually
I received my first physical copy of In-human as a book and I couldn’t imagine the excitement it would bring.
It’s been such a long and hard slog to get it published that there was no joy left in it for me anymore. I didn’t think so anyway. And then I got to hold this beautiful book and I fell in love again. I went home immediately and read it from start to finish in one day. I read it like it was the first time, which sounds crazy after years of re-drafting but I could not put it down. I had to keep turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next. I didn’t expect this to happen because I’m more than familiar with all the events. But reading a bound book is, I found out, a very different experience from reading that stack of loose pages.
For me In-human is like a fairy tale – I have been able to read it countless times without ever losing the joy of it but by the last edit I was over the whole thing. And this made me sad because we’ve had such a long relationship. I started writing this novel twelve years ago. And the story continues. The novel I’m writing now, How much the human body contains, is Coralee’s take on events. She’s the antagonist in In-human and for me the hardest character to get to know, so I had to start writing this novel to find out about her.
At first (for six years) I struggled not just because In-human wasn’t finished yet, which was significant, but also because Coralee is a very dark and complicated character. Often it’s been extremely hard for me to sit with her story but in the last few weeks I had this amazing insight into what drives her and so now it’s gotten easier for me to let her speak. She’s remarkable and I hope she keeps talking. I’ve put excerpts of the first draft of the new book up on my blog so this time the first draft feels a little more public but also less lonely.
This is an edited cross post from Anna Dusk’s blog.