Labor Pains: Birthing a book
It's been three years since I published a novel (The Bed was the most recent one). In that three years, I've ripped out several chunks of my soul and put them down on paper to create a new tale: The Last Priestess of Malia. In case you can't tell from the book cover above, it's historical fiction set among the Minoans of ancient Crete.
I'm probably exaggerating about the chunks of my soul. I'm pretty sure it's still intact, though it has felt otherwise during the writing process. This is a book that I've been writing, in one form or another, for more than twenty years.
The first attempt was abysmal, quite honestly. I never showed it to anyone. I'm still certain that was a wise choice.
The second attempt was better, and I got some feedback from trusted friends about the story. But I ended up scrapping it when I realized it would take more effort to re-work it than to just start over.
In the meantime, I wrote loads of other stuff. Two other novels. Short stories, non-fiction books, anthology chapters. I became a better writer. They say you have to write a million words to get really good. I think I've put in my million, give or take.
But I've also spent that twenty years studying the ancient Minoans and, with the help of the marvelous folks in Ariadne's Tribe, building a modern Minoan spiritual practice. So I have more actual content to fall back on, more understanding of the people of ancient Crete and their lifeways (though granted, there were still plenty of empty spots in the archaeological record in which I could fictionalize as I wrote).
So I'm about to set this book loose out into the world. The e-book is already available for pre-order, and gods willin' and the creek don't rise, all versions will be released this coming Monday just in time for the Equinox.
In the sacred calendar for Modern Minoan Paganism, we consider the Autumn Equinox to be the New Year. I think that's as good a time as any to birth a book into the world.
In the name of the bee,
And of the butterfly,
And of the breeze, amen.