I’m not a fast writer. When I hear authors talk about how it took them two or three long years to write a book, I struggle to hide my reaction.
I can take two or three years to research a book. Even then, research continues as I start writing.
Since Angels of the Underground was published last December, I’ve been casting about for a new project. I really wanted to return to one I’d started before Angels, but every time I raised the subject with my agent, she was skeptical. I was amazed at how quickly she could run down a list of concerns about the commercial viability of the project.
Although my day job is as an academic historian, I want to write books that will sell well. I figure if I invest so much in creating them, I’d like to see a material return on that investment.
I spent the early part of the summer working on an abbreviated book proposal, to clearly map out for my agent my vision for the project she was skeptical about. And she still wasn’t convinced.
So it wasn’t until this month that I started pitching other projects.
And one stuck. A very good one, we both believe. It’s another story of a group of “ordinary” American women who make an extraordinary contribution to a U.S. war effort. (No more details at this point. I don’t want to jinx it.)
I’ve started work on the book proposal, which will end up at around 50 pages of overview, market analysis, and chapter synopses. Then it will go out on submission in hopes of finding an editor who thinks the book is as exciting as we do.
Stay tuned. It may be a long haul.