Progress is being made! Per a suggestion from Query Shark, I have drafted my query, but am now letting it set a week to stew.
I’ve read/heard from a number of other people that, having written your book, you need to leave it alone for 6 months before coming back to it and doing the final edit. It’s been about 4 months for me (9 months, though, if you count back to when I began it in November) and I feel ready to tackle the final edits. I very much have a different perspective on it, especially since during those 4 months of not working on it, I was working on its sequels. In particular, I have much better understanding of my characters and of how vampires work. So as I’m going back and cleaning up typos and grammar, I am finding places to insert little tidbits of information that I didn’t know when I wrote it the first time, but do know now. For instance, I know what Imuechmehah smell like now (rusted metal and stinky weeds), so I have inserted that detail into Anselm’s first encounter with Ciaran.
So, having set my query to stewing, I started last night on my final edits. I didn’t make it all the way through the new prologue (what used to be chapter one in the original draft), but I did do something which is a necessity for myself and anyone who proofreads for me: I set up a table of contents, which also contains hyperlinks directly to the chapters. This means I can scroll to the second page of my book, pick a chapter and jump directly to it. It also means that I can use the buttons on the scroll bar to jump by heading, so once I’m well into the body of my book, I can scroll by chapter, not just by page. I had bookmarks organized into a primitive table of contents for my book originally, but this is a better system.
Setting the table of contents up, though, meant coming up with titles for my chapters. I could have left them “Chapter One” and so on, but it’s easier for me and my proofreaders if there is some sort of reference to the contents of the chapters; it lets us know where to jump to. Some of my chapters had very obvious titles, but some were really difficult to come up with. I might run my titles back by my husband, to see if he thinks they work.
Needless to say, most of my evening was consumed with getting all of the chapter organization set up. But I still managed to find the time to finish Joshua’s biography. You can now view it in the right-hand toolbar. I worked up a scene with Joshua yesterday during lunch, in which he reveals his early history, and that was really the last piece of the puzzle I needed for his biography. Tomorrow I’ll share the draft of the scene with you, because I think it’s interesting.
Of course, I think Joshua is interesting. In the first and second books, Kalyn only sees him as a calm, benevolent father-figure (although he’d not say no to having a sexual relationship with her, if she wanted it). I have likened him to the Dalai Lama with sex appeal; my husband thinks he’s a dead-ringer for Omar Sharif. In book three, though—and in tiny glimpses of his past in the other books—we do see that Joshua has a breaking point; it is set much higher than a normal person’s breaking point, but when someone hits his trigger, he can lay waste to them. Normally this is limited to a verbal thrashing, but he does admit to Kalyn, in the upcoming scene, that he did physically attack someone a long time ago.