Neil Gaiman penned the best summary on what it takes to be an author.
18 months, 50 chapters, and 5 rewrites later – his words were fulfilled with the final keyboard clicks, THE END. With that, the latest book in the Advocate Series: Ritual Abuse, is ready for the editor.
Here are some questions for suspense writer, Dawn Mattox.
How does it feel to finish your second novel?
“I can say the magic words, I am an author, with conviction. I have sat in my chair and paid my dues. I have missed out on a million things… all for the thrill of the ONE thing.”
I have missed the great outdoors; walking, swimming, breathing, gardening and kayaking. I have neglected domestic obligations; frantically cleaning my house just before company arrives – thank God for company! Visiting friends and spending more time with my husband. Grocery shopping only when alien life forms appear in the refrigerator and starvation is the alternative. Ignoring most of my other enjoyable creative outlets; working with photos, sewing, and crafting.
Was it worth it?
“Oh, Yeah!” Not a blink, not a swallow, no second thoughts. “Writers live to write.”
Mornings often start in the middle of the night with, What if? and Then what? My brain jump starts and I get up to write it down before the dream is lost to sleep. My dog, a two-pound control freak, dutifully takes up her spot next to my office chair and bumps me with her nose (starting at 9:00pm sharp) until I get up and go to bed – because she is tired.
The first draft; I call it “cake,” affectionately known to writers as, “the vomit draft,” is always fun. The second draft; “icing on the cake,” is rich and delicious. The third draft; like the first day of a diet. The fourth draft; tedious, not-fun, more like a workout. The fifth and final line-by- line examination; zombie mode, but completely fascinating in that I still laugh and cry at the appropriate places. But the greatest thrill of writing, is the last two words, The End.
“Last night; champagne. This morning; coffee.”
The next day is always business as usual. “The End” is just the beginning. The book has been through the content editor and now it goes to the copy editor before it is prepped for publication. Time now to share the news with friends, run a load of laundry, load the kayak, pick vegetables from the garden, and fix my husband a fantastic dinner. Oh yeah… and start spinning the endless possibilities for Book #3 of the series, §5150.
It’s been an amazing journey and the greatest reward always comes from the hears of my readers. Imagine eighteen months of never knowing the value of your work, until receiving that first review – from my hardest critic – the content editor, and the euphoric rush of hearing her say:
Thank you Stephen King for writing Misery, my favorite book ever. Thank you Catherine for the best complement ever. Thank you friends and fans for your patience. I promise you a thrills ride worth the wait in line! Book #2 of THE ADVOCATE SERIES – Ritual Abuse will be Available for Preorder soon.