eating humble pie

Posted at Oct 13, 2009 4:12 pm

I have finally finished the first revision. Anyone who has been following this rather lengthy process already knows that this is actually something like the fourth revision, but it is the first version without Sherlock Holmes.  Hyperion wanted S.H. taken out of the novel, partly for copyright reasons (long, long story- and not particularly interesting) and also for creative reasons. My main character was being stifled by the Great Detective etc. etc…
As anyone who has read my 1st, 2nd or 3rd revision knows, S.H. was rather a key character. So my initial reaction was something along the lines of "WTF!!!???!!!"
Followed shortly afterward by hysterical sobbing and a 3- hour late night call to my sister. (sorry, Dinah)
Then came a flurry of emails between myself and my agent, and finally an agreement to try to make this work. All of this happened in January. In the intervening months I have signed the contract, received my advance and most importantly, rewritten the entire novel.  There is only about 5% of the original material in this version.
And what do you know?
I had started the process grumbling phrases like "Selling out" and  "legal nonsense."   And now— now I can’t believe that I didn’t see this from the beginning. 
I was able to create a new character to take the place of Sherlock and he is mine… all mine. I have the freedom to explore Dora’s personality in a way that I never could before. Dora and Peter actually complement each other instead drowning each other out.  And I feel like I’ve left the realm of fan-fiction and finally entered my own world, my own creation. 
All of this is a rather melodramatic summary of where I’ve been for the last few months and why I’ve been pretty quiet about the novel. (Well, as quiet as I can be.) But I keep reminding myself that I am still waiting for the final word from Emily, my editor.  Because she hasn’t met Peter, my new character yet.  So we’ll just have to see.
But now I actually have some free time again. Hence the return blogging.
Last night my husband took me out to Luciana’s in Jerusalem to celebrate. I highly recommend the salmon fettucine.  It rivals the dish I had at Novellino’s in London.  
Reading recommendations for the last couple of months: Saturday, by Ian Mcewan.   The pace is very slow but it is so well written and researched that I found it difficult to put down.
Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler.  This one rather surprised me. I had had it on my reading list for years but somehow never got around to it.  Now I plan to read some more Anne Tyler. Recs anyone?
I am currently reading A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon.  I picked this one up because I loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (his first novel).
If you can guess how Haddon’s first novel caught my notice (hint- you don’t need to read the book to guess this one) I’ll treat you to dinner. Dinah, you do not qualify for this offer. Cuz you know me too well. But I’ll treat you to dinner anyway. 
Winners must come to Israel to collect prize.

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