Everyone’s first book seems to have a checkered past – a history complete with stops, starts, frustration, tears, wonk and (hopefully) joy. Eden was no different. I actually started the book on an Apple IIc computer, back in the days before hard drives. I rarely talk about the book’s *actual* beginnings because it’s embarrassing: I lost the disks long, long ago. Those first, few brain droppings are forever gone.
But the nuggets survived. They survived high school, college, cancer, marriage and my kids. They survived to make it onto one of my first PC’s. Then, those notes and chapters were migrated to an ancient, portable HP device. Then, the mangled bits made it back to a newer PC and I learned my lesson: I began to backup my work online.
So, the story survived, or rather: the bits of Eden’s story made it through the fire & rain. You see – there wasn’t a full story there. I had an “idea,” but it wasn’t complete. I knew in my heart it wasn’t ready to be told. It was missing something crucial – and that last puzzle piece came into place after hearing a song on the radio. At once, the story assembled itself into a complete “whole” for the first time.
After that immaculate realization, I re-wrote the beginning and started work in earnest. I woke up every morning 1-2 hours before work for ~8 years. (okay, maybe not *every* morning) I scrapped and rewrote major sections. Writing a novel-length manuscript was a new and scary process for me, so the going was rough. Perseverance is a quality I learned from my battle with cancer, so I wasn’t going to surrender despite the difficult journey. In the end, I competed the story that occupied my mind & heart for almost 2 decades.
Each writer blazes their own unique path from idea to completion, and I’m convinced there is no “right” or “wrong” in any of it.