Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Cornish Affair Arrives...

My author copies of A Cornish Affair
Producing A Cornish Affair has been one long labour of love...and sometimes downright painful. In fact if I go down the whole giving birth comparison at the end I was swearing, grumpy and totally hated the the little bastard that I was pushing out into the world.

A Cornish Affair was conceived in 2005 as August Rock. I won't go into all the gory details but by the time two years ago when I began to rewrite the book in first person I had rewritten the book 27 times. Yes, you read that correctly. But not consecutively...I wrote and rewrote other books in-between. After each new book or new rewrite of another, I had learned something new as a writer and I applied that to August Rock that was....

So come to rewrite 27, I realised I had written my voice totally out of it and it had no soul left but my goodness what I had learned in the process. So for that 27th rewrite I went back to version two (helpful hint - always keep copies of the early versions) and I took everything I had learnt and began again. I also pulled out the male point of view (POV) so I had only my heroine's POV and that of the ghost, Toby. It was a stronger book by the end of that rewrite.

Sitting in our boat looking up at the setting of the story, I had a blinding moment of inspiration or madness...you decide which. I knew that the story had to be told in first person. Maybe it was the setting of the book - a bit like Rebecca (note: I have never read more than three chapters of Rebecca. It just wasn't 'my book' unlike Frenchman's Creek or Jamaica Inn...). But I just knew. However this posed a problem. I had never written much of anything in first person. To resolve that I used NaNoWriMo that year to try it and I wrote The Summer of the Black Hare and had a ball. (I heartily recommend NaNo for experimentation).

I then rewrote the first three chapters of August Rock in first person and sent them to my editor, but I had left Toby's (my 13 year old Victorian ghost) in third. She liked Jude, my heroine's voice, but told me Toby had to be in first. This was the beginning of a very long labour and I won't bore you with the details.

A Cornish Affair is a very different story to August Rock although the setting, the heroine and the hero are the same. I was working on it down to the very wire. In fact at one point it wasn't going to be delivered, so to speak, until next year...

Two days ago I held the finished book in my hands and fell in love with it (and believe me after the total 30+ rewrites cutting 70,000 words I didn't think that was possible). It does help that the cover is soooo stunning, really. The colour is amazing. But it was with huge trepidation that I opened the book and read (I had to because of this talk on Sunday at the Fowey Festival - formerly the du Maurier Festival). And to my surprise I kept reading....

A Cornish Affair is a very different book to it's origins and also to The Cornish House (in a way a bit like my own children). It tells a story of how sometimes you have to go away to find yourself and it's a lesson that I learnt myself. It's a story I've dedicated to my beautiful daughter because there will come a time when she needs to make her own way in the world but please dear God not yet!
A Cornish Affair is dedicated to my daughter

Now the one question I have been asked many times...is it a sequel? No. Nor is it a prequel. It takes place just a few months before The Cornish House. However both books are set in the same location and have many of the same characters.

Yesterday on Twitter I gave away a few copies. Over on my Facebook Page there's an opportunity to win signed copies if you are willing to share your run away stories. Of course there is also a Goodreads Giveaway.

A pair - The Cornish House and A Cornish Affair
But of course I can't leave my blog readers out. In fact I'll give a copy of both The Cornish House and A Cornish Affair together. Just leave a comment by the 18th of May 2013 to be in the running....

A Cornish Affair is over on Jera's Jamboree and I talk about my love of Cornwall over on London Perfect. And finally I'm over on the Rightmove Blog talking about my research for The Cornish House.

And finally if you happen to be in London on the 23rd of May please come and join me for a Cornish Cream tea to celebrate the launch of A Cornish Affair at 18:30 at Waterstones Kensington High Street.

26 comments:

Helen said...

Liz, I remember your angst and re-writes of August Rock all those years ago - though you must have started it a few years before we 'met'. I'm so pleased that it is now being published!

x

Morton Gray said...

Liz,

Do not underestimate how much inspiration your 'birth pangs' give to unpublished writers like myself!

Good luck with the new book. You deserve it. M x

Liz Fenwick said...

Thanks Helen...when did the Novel Racers start?

Thanks Morton. I'm certainly a lesson in persistence!

lx

Scarlet Wilson said...

Congratulations Liz, the cover fairies have definitely visited!

Bookishdubai said...

Congratulations :) will there be a book launch in dubai as well ?

Liz Fenwick said...

Yes, Scarlet. The cover fairies has been very clever!

Bookish in Dubai...here's the link to the Dubai launch https://www.facebook.com/events/187563468064110/?context=create#
lx

catdownunder said...

If the Affair is as good as the House then it will have been worth all those rewrites!

Liz Fenwick said...

Thank you Cat...readers will soon let me know *bites nails!* It is a very different book.
lx

Sue Guiney said...

What a great post! And such a good reminder of how it's never done (until the fat lady sings, so to speak) but also how you can't give up on something you believe in. Can't wait to read it. Huge congrats to you!

PS You know I'm not calling you or your editor "the fat lady ", right..it's an old baseball expression. :-)

Liz Fenwick said...

HI Sue...am chuckling about the fat lady...I know the expression well!

lx

Helen said...

22nd January 2007 I emailed Kate to join! Good grief.

Liz Fenwick said...

Wow! Time flies!
lx

Carol Warham said...

Thanks Liz. It is inspirational to realise how much work you put into this book. I did read your earlier blogs when you going through this process, but even then the reality doesn't really dawn!
Thanks again from all struggling wannebes.

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Congratulations, Liz!

I love the cover and remember you talking about August Rock several years ago. I look forward to reading the final version now.x

Liz Fenwick said...

Carol - I'm pleased you find it helpful and not off putting! Keep writing!

Thanks Debs

lx

Edith said...

Liz, I love your book covers, and certainly The Cornish House captured the spirit of your story within. And I have no doubt that your new novel will be every bit as wonderful. Thank you too for telling us about all your re-writes. At least now I know what lies ahead, and it's a very long road.....you know, a case of the more I think about it, the longer it gets! Just as well I love the process and am enjoying the ride! Congratulations on your new novel xxx

Liz Fenwick said...

Edith - thankfully The Cornish House was only 6 or 7 rewrites...progress was had been made. And not with the new I will lucky to squeeze in 3 or 4! Keep writing!
lx

Laura said...

Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your story of how your book changed and developed through all of the edits. Wonderful to hear about the writing process!

Liz Fenwick said...

Hi Laura - it goes to show that nothing in writing is ever wasted! Now I need to find a story for my poor ghost Toby!

lx

Amanda Nason said...

I just can't believe how many re-writes you did!! Perseverance is certainly a writer's best friend : )

Liz Fenwick said...

Amanda - I looked on it as my masters in creative writing....

lx

Deb's Pen Pot said...

Gosh, 27 rewrites... That makes me feel better about my own endless drafting process with my first novel, and how disillusioned with it I've become. Now I'm onto my second book and enjoying the writing process, I'm trying not to think too much about ripping it apart and starting again..."laters", is all I'll say to that! To give me someone else's words to read at night, I'd appreciate winning your books, so please pop me in the draw! Best wihses, Deb x

Liz Fenwick said...

Hi Debs...writing is hard work but brilliant. Keep writing new and rewriting! I'm an example how persistence eventually pays off!

Your name is the hat!
lx

Heather Musk said...

The covers of your books are beautiful. I'd love to win copies of them but if I don't I'm going to buy them anyway :-)

Liz Fenwick said...

Thank you Heather! Your name is in the running!

lx

Liz Fenwick said...

Well, the 18th has come around and I put all the names into a hat and DD plucked Edith's name! Congrats Edith and thank you everyone else!

lx