Will Dean - Dark Pines

In an occasional series, I will be featuring some of my fellow debut authors on my blog. The writing community has been very supportive of me and CLOSE TO ME, so it's great to be able to spread the word about some amazing books and their brilliant authors.

There's so much written on the endlessly fascinating theme of 'journey to publication' so I thought it might be fun to break that down into three captioned photos. To kick things off in very fine style, Will Dean, author of Dark Pines, shares his three photos. I think he's going to be a tough act of follow! Many thanks to Will for these great pictures.

Dark Pines is released in January 2018 by Oneworld Publications

THE FIRST DRAFT I thought the first draft of Dark Pines would take around six months. In fact, it took four weeks. That's because the voice of my protagonist, Tuva Moodyson, came through so clearly from page one. I'd written a novel before (awful, now locked securely in a drawer) and Dark Pines felt different. This was natural. It was fun. For four weeks I was fully immersed in the story and the small town world. I wrote the first draft in my son's naps (two naps a day equated to two chapters - thank god he slept well back then). It was an intense, trance-like experience and after I typed 'The End' I was exhausted.

THE FIRST DRAFT

I thought the first draft of Dark Pines would take around six months. In fact, it took four weeks. That's because the voice of my protagonist, Tuva Moodyson, came through so clearly from page one. I'd written a novel before (awful, now locked securely in a drawer) and Dark Pines felt different. This was natural. It was fun. For four weeks I was fully immersed in the story and the small town world. I wrote the first draft in my son's naps (two naps a day equated to two chapters - thank god he slept well back then). It was an intense, trance-like experience and after I typed 'The End' I was exhausted.

THE FIRE Because I wrote the first draft so quickly it was an ugly, misshapen monster. So once the buzz of that intense creative period was over the hard work began. I rewrote and rewrote and rewrote. My first draft had the mood and the characters and the place and the general story arc, but very little plot. It was through rewriting that I discovered my characters' secrets and lies. I didn't have enough space to keep paper copies of every draft so I burned them in my forest clearing (it's a boggy swamp so there's no risk of forest fire!) and cooked sausages over the burning words.  

THE FIRE

Because I wrote the first draft so quickly it was an ugly, misshapen monster. So once the buzz of that intense creative period was over the hard work began. I rewrote and rewrote and rewrote. My first draft had the mood and the characters and the place and the general story arc, but very little plot. It was through rewriting that I discovered my characters' secrets and lies. I didn't have enough space to keep paper copies of every draft so I burned them in my forest clearing (it's a boggy swamp so there's no risk of forest fire!) and cooked sausages over the burning words.

 

THE PROOFS This photo captures a very special day. My first proof copy. I walked through the woods to reach my mailbox (a 2km round trip) and found a Jiffy bag stuffed inside. It was from Oneworld. It said 'Air Mail'. I ran back home to my clearing like a little kid. To take a breath and open the package and hold my book for the first time was a moving experience. It was beautiful. And when I look at it now I see all the hours of work, the fugue state first draft, all the rewriting and reading out loud, the missed dinners, all the red ink, the unsolicited submissions, the rejections, the heartache, the agents who liked it, the offers, the daunting meetings, the signing, being on submission, the deal, the further edits, the cover design process, the comments from generous first readers. My agent, Kate Burke, and my editor, Jenny Parrott, helped me so much. I wouldn't have had a Jiffy bag to open if it wasn't for them. I wrote the story, but it took a team to make the book.    

THE PROOFS

This photo captures a very special day. My first proof copy. I walked through the woods to reach my mailbox (a 2km round trip) and found a Jiffy bag stuffed inside. It was from Oneworld. It said 'Air Mail'. I ran back home to my clearing like a little kid. To take a breath and open the package and hold my book for the first time was a moving experience. It was beautiful. And when I look at it now I see all the hours of work, the fugue state first draft, all the rewriting and reading out loud, the missed dinners, all the red ink, the unsolicited submissions, the rejections, the heartache, the agents who liked it, the offers, the daunting meetings, the signing, being on submission, the deal, the further edits, the cover design process, the comments from generous first readers. My agent, Kate Burke, and my editor, Jenny Parrott, helped me so much. I wouldn't have had a Jiffy bag to open if it wasn't for them. I wrote the story, but it took a team to make the book.

 

 

Many thanks to Will for these great pictures.

Dark Pines is released in January 2018 by Oneworld Publications