Today marks a special day. It’s a release day, but it’s a little more than that. Colters’ Lady, which is the follow up to Colters’ Woman, is now available in electronic format. I’m smiling but it’s one of those smiles that comes with a sigh and a little slump of the shoulders.
My editor and I work closely on my books. We’re both nitpicky and anal and it’s not unusual to pass the book back and forth a dozen times BEFORE it ever goes to line edits. Then there are the multiple passes after the line editor and then the pass after we get the ARC ;)
Anyway, the past few months have been stressful and sad and anxious all rolled into one. Jennifer and I tease each other that one of us can’t meltdown. It always has to be both of us at the same time. I was having a really, REALLY tough time on my third KGI book, so much so that it made me late on a deadline, and I’m never late. Late to me is like the end of the world because I’m one of the anal “early” people who always show up everywhere at least 15 minutes early.
Nothing was working for me. I still had to get Colters’ Lady done and believe me when I saw, that old saying about when it rains, it pours? Totally true. I was on vacation with two friends in Catalina melting down because there was just crap coming from all directions.
None of that really seems to matter, though, in light of a phone call I received from Jennifer (my editor) who told me she’d been diagnosed with an invasive form of breast cancer. We both really didn’t think much of the lump she’d found. We were texting from her mammogram appointment. I knew she was going in for a biopsy. But when she called me and told me the biopsy came back clean but that she’d INSISTED that the lump be removed anyway…THAT’S when it was discovered. Thank God, thank god she insisted.
We both cried on the phone and I told her not to worry about anything other than taking care of herself and her children. The book would wait. It wasn’t important. She was what was important and everything else could go to hell in my opinion.
She was getting ready to start chemo and we talked again. I told her I’d do whatever she wanted with Colters’ Lady, that Jennifer was most important. We could push it back, or just hang on to it. I didn’t want another editor to work on it, but if that’s what Jennifer preferred, I was good with that too.
But she told me she wanted the book. She wanted to work on it. It was a book that we’d talked about together, because before recently I NEVER planned to write sequels to Colters’ Woman. But this series was for her. It’s unlikely I would have written it without her encouragement. And I wanted her to have ultimate say in the matter.
So I sent her half the book and struggled on with my third KGI book. When I finally turned it in, I knew I didn’t have time to even breathe a sigh of relief because release day was bearing down on us like a freight train. With Jennifer going into her second round of chemo and feeling unbelievably tired, we began work in earnest on getting Colters’ Lady to the point we wanted it.
I don’t think either of us slept for a week. We were passing the book back and forth at midnight. We questioned. We discussed parts. We worked right up to the wire to get this book as near perfect as we could. All the while us both feeing like we wanted to go to bed for about a year and hide there.
We could have pushed it back. But neither of us wanted to do that when readers were expecting the book on June 1. I’m just amazed at how much effort Jennifer put into this when she was dealing with her own set of worries. Really big worries that made all my whining insignificant.
So Colters’ Lady is special. It may not be the most perfect book I’ve ever written. But it will always be special because Jennifer loved this book enough to hang onto it, even when her world was going to pieces around her. She believed in it, and she wanted readers to have it on the day we’d told them they’d have it. I have nothing to say to that except thank you. From the depth of my heart, thank you and I love you.
I hope readers will love and appreciate the book as much as you did, Jennifer. You’re a kickass editor, but more than that…you’re one of my dearest friends.
Lots of love on release day. We made it!!