My new book, The Sea is Silent, is finally out, and unlike most other projects I’ve worked on, it’s been a long time coming. The idea first came to me about five years ago, and took shape on a long drive to Hilton Head Island with one of my best friends. He loved the premise and the general plot, and convinced me to flesh out the story.
In between then and now, a lot of things got in the way of actually sitting down to write the novel. Mostly work, but other life events seemed to eat up the time I wanted to spend writing. When you have another job and numerous family and community responsibilities, it’s exceedingly difficult to carve out the three or four hour blocks of time you need to put your story onto paper. (I wrote The Sea is Silent primarily between the hours of midnight and 3:00am, which is why I probably looked pretty tired for a few years.) It was a long, slow process and sometimes I’d go months without adding a single word to the manuscript. I envy writers like Nora Roberts or James Patterson who can crank out a new book every few months. John Grisham tries to write two a year, which seems like a gracious plenty to me.
After you complete a first draft, you have to find some very good friends to read it for you. I’m extremely grateful to all those kind people who took on this assignment. Their insights, suggestions, and corrections were invaluable. Sometimes a writer gets so close to the story that he or she can’t see what’s missing or what’s unclear, so the initial readers of the early drafts are a huge part of the final product.
Finally, you have to find a publisher and an editor that you trust. I’m so lucky to have Kevin Watson at Plothound Books (Press53) to shepherd me through this process. He knows how to take a book and always make it better. I kid him that I turn in a phonebook and he hands me back a pamphlet, but it’s always for the betterment of the story. (It was also his vision for the front cover, so more credit to Kevin!)
So now, after five years of swirling around in my head, the story of Seth MacClellan and Sandbridge Island is finally on the shelves. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, and I trust it won’t take you nearly as long!