Me, at my work station
Sometimes it seems the work of putting a novel together is never ending! I've been working nearly non-stop on the SHADOW OF THE LION project for literally years. I finished the book in December 2010. Spent all of 2011 editing with two reader's critiques. And this year, so far, more editing (professionally done). I still have to go through it one more time just to double-check spelling etc.
There's way more to do than the actual writing and editing of a novel. So far, I've compiled the glossary, cast of characters, Author's Note, Acknowledgements, short synopsis, and my map designer says he's almost done. But I am still working on the long synopsis. I've spent many hours on it so far and it isn't quite right yet. And the synopsis has to be as near perfect as you can get it because it's part of your sales pitch. Then there's the query letter, although I'm not too stressed about that.
I'm aiming to get it all off and sent out into the publishing world by the end of the month. After all these years and hours of work I am more than happy to send it on its way. I know SHADOW OF THE LION is an excellent novel and it's my best writing. I put my heart into it — actually my soul!
So you novice novel writers out there — especially you historical fiction writers — don't get the idea you can whip off a novel in a few months. If you want real quality you need to do the work and spend the time. Blood, sweat and tears, baby! That's the way it is. And in the end, if you are lucky, somebody might publish it!