I wrote precious words for any novelist last week…..the end. My novel about Louis XIV is essentially finished. I must clean up the manuscript, shape up some character and plot lines, and send it to my agent. What happens next?

Once it leaves my hands, there is my agent’s reaction. Will she consider it ready to sell? Is there a market for it? (I don’t presell books any more; too hard on my writing nerves.) She may ask me to rewrite something in it, which I will listen to seriously because I respect her. 

But essentially, once I send the manuscript away, the book is out of my hands and into the hands of the fates. Who will like it? Who won’t? Will it sell well? Or not? I can affect those things hardly at all. And so I will clean my office, work on a web site, which I am years late in coming to, think about writing classes I would feel comfortable teaching (I don’t believe it’s possible to be taught how to write fiction, as if it were baking a cake. but there are essential elements), and begin thinking about the next novel.

Long ago, my first editor told me to just move on to the next book. This was when my first book sold. But I couldn’t do that. I held on to every moment, every scrap, every event about that first book. Now I know better.

6 responses to “next

  1. Please, please just continue writing. I love your world’s – Alice’s, Barbara’s – it is so amazingly intoxicating and I can’t put them down. Please write more. This World is sometimes just too much, and to be able to escape completely into another one is essential. You create such magic and inspiration. It might be silly but Barbara has helped me though tough times, just thinking what she would do, how she would handle it. She is a strong woman and I love that. Thank you!!!!!

  2. I second everything reply-er Christine said. Your worlds are a true escapists dream!! I will read anything and everything you will ever release to the public.
    Thank you so much for your books!

  3. Did I read something around the time of ‘Dark Angels’ release that you were interested in writing a young adult novel? Is that still something of interest to you?

  4. Karleen Koen

    Writing a young adult novel is of great interest to me. I can’t think of anything finer than to write something that might really touch young people. However, that’s not something I’m working on at the moment. Thanks for your inquiry. K

  5. I am waiting with “Bated Breath” for the next novel….! Since reading your first novel “Through A Glass Darkly”, I was nuts until the next novel “And Now Face to Fact” was released. At the time we didn’t have the Internet…..20years ago, I am so happy that it now exists. Please continue to write Historical novels, I need them when I make my great escapes…into the past. When can we expect your next noves about Louie XIV to be released???

    Miz Heidi

    • Well, Heidi,
      I can finally answer that. The novel about Louis XIV, called Before Versailles (at least right now), is due out May 2011 and Crown Publishing will bring it out.

      Thanks for asking…..Karleen

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