Friday, November 22, 2013
Caribbean Jewel should be up and running on Amazon by November 30, and I'm in shock. This is the book I've been calling "my pirate novel" for the past (mumble) years, because I couldn't remember if, or what, I had titled it so long ago. I wrote it in my 20's and thought I would never see it again because my one or two hard copies had been loaned out to friends who were reading it and the electronic manuscript was written in an MS-DOS program called "Spinnaker," stored on 5 1/4 inch floppies. (Remember when floppies were actually floppy?) Those floppy disks have moved with me from town to town over the years, and it scares me to admit they came close to getting tossed a couple of times because I thought the files were irretrievable.
When a tekkie friend of mine figured out a way to retrieve my pirate novel manuscript two years ago, I remember holding my breath and watching as Word actually opened the file. Across the top and down the sides were a lot of random characters from formatting confusion. He scrolled down to see if the text were even readable, and the title appeared before my eyes:
"That's what I titled it?" I stared at it in amazement. "Hmm, it kind of works."
I settled in that night to look at the file more closely. I couldn't remember for sure if I had finished the novel or not or if it was even close to being long enough for a standard historical romance novel (between 90,000 and 100K words.) The manuscript came off those floppies with 115,000 words, complete with 25 chapters and an epilogue. Good news to me - it was definitely long enough to be a romance novel, and had plenty of room for trimming and shaping up. (It now weighs in at 94,408 words by the way.)
Then I started reading it. I couldn't remember much of the plot, so it was truly like reading someone else's book. You're not supposed to brag on your own book, but I'll just tell you honestly, by the time I got to the first pirate attack in chapter 8, I was hanging on every word; by chapter 22 I was sobbing my head off; and by the end I knew I was going to publish this novel. And that if no one ever reads it, or if they read it and hate it, it doesn't matter--I love this story with all my heart.