Welcome back! Today, we have more answers just for your ears, or, rather, eyes, from published authors about how long it takes to write a book from conception to submission.
Angie is the New York Times Bestselling Author of The Accidental Demon Slayer.
Great question! The Accidental Demon Slayer took me five months to write, but that was quicker than usual for me. An editor wanted to see it so I put in some double writing sessions toward the end. Usually, a book in six or seven months is comfortable for me. That's how long I took with The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, due out in May 2009.
Glynnis Campbell aka Sarah McKerrigan
Glynnis Campbell aka Sarah McKerrigan writes stories to keep you up all night. As Sarah McKerrigan, she is the author of Danger's Kiss, ISBN 0-446-61887-X, published May 2008.
I get this question all the time, and you're right - it depends. I've feverishly written a novella in three weeks, but I've also dawdled over a book for five years.
Generally, the answer I give (which seems to approximately coincide with my contracts) is it takes about the same as a baby - nine months. Sometimes, the baby surprises me and comes early. Sometimes I muse about the baby for months before the actual pregnancy begins. But generally it's about nine months to deliver that beautiful, bouncing baby book.
Jamie Leigh Hansen
Jamie is the author of Cursed which will be published in December 2008.
For Betrayed, I began writing it August 2001. I wrote 150 pages, realized something important about my heroine's character and deleted them all.
April 2002, I began again at page one and wrote 425 pages by September 25, 2002. I entered the Dorchester contest and got the results the summer of 2003. Based on the results, I needed to rework the beginning, and the story changed from there. From July to December 2003, I was mainly in the hospital with my family. Husband's surgery, my broken leg, and our daughter's brain tumor.
January 2004 to April 16, 2005, I wrote page 1 to 425. I included old stuff but rewrote new and revised old so much. It (ended up being) a totally different story. I submitted to Natasha Kern two months later, signed with her 3 months after that. Then I worked with a freelance editor, and we went over it 3 times (pages 1- 425). Then 3 more times with Anna Genoese at Tor. Then copyedits and first pass pages. The book was completely done and never touched again after August 2007. Six years.
Cursed, out in December 2008, had 50 pages written the fall of 2002. I worked on it again spring and summer 2005, January to August 2006, January to May 2007. Not quite finished over 120k words. With input from my agent and other sources, I rewrote and heavily revised the book from July 2007 to Feb 2008. 118.8k words. Heather Osborn cut 20k words; we did the copy edits and first pass this summer. It's out in Decemer. Six years of chunks.
So, from concept to publication, each of my books has taken about 6 years because even when I'm not working on it, it's in my thoughts, processing and percolating.
Tune in tomorrow for Answers, Part 3.