Saturday, September 10, 2016

And ... we’re done!

A big day for me. After just under seven months of intensive effort I’ve finished the first draft of The Ashes of Home.

Shayla Carver, master assassin (retired) and planetary governor has made more enemies than is good for her. All she wants is to rebuild her home planet, burned to a cinder many years before, but ghosts from her past haunt her. Among the many plots on her life, one especially dangerous enemy is intent not just on revenge but on plunging the galaxy into a devastating civil war.

I started this project all the way back in 2008, while I was revising and querying Ghosts of Innocence first time around. After roughing out a number of scenes and a high level outline (which the finished story bears no resemblance to) I set it aside while I went through more rounds of revising and querying, then self-publishing Ghosts, and writing and publishing Tiamat’s Nest.

This draft has gone really well, but of course it’s nowhere near ready for publication. Eventually I’ll be looking for critiquers and beta readers, but before then I’ve got a lot of editing and revising of my own to do. I normally dislike this stage of the process, but for once I’m actually excited about it. I’ve got a set of notes on things I need to go back and work into the story, and most of all I’m looking forward to reading it through as a whole - something I’ve not yet done.

Time for a celebratory drink...


  1. Congratulations Ian - it must be very satisfying to have got this far ... and then on to the next stage before publication: good luck with The Ashes of Home.

    Enjoy your read through ... cheers Hilary

    PS re the Gardener's Cake .. if you check my blog for Baked Bean Cake ... she did one of those ... just looks so real (right at end of the Elephant and Bees project in Kenya) post! Happy eating of cake too by the sound of it ...

  2. Every time I write something I wish I could read it again for the first time as someone not connected to it. Congratulations on finishing that first draft.

  3. Hilary, it's a great feeling. Third time around I'm starting to feel like an author and not just a wannabe :)

    Stephen, after a few months absence I find I look at my writing with fresh eyes but it's not the same. It's like re-reading a story. That's why I will want some independent eyes on this before I finish the revision process.

  4. Congratulations!
    Sometimes those older projects turn out to be the best, even if they resemble nothing of their origins when finished.

  5. Alex, actually all my books so far have been some years in the making. I start, then do something else before coming back to finish. And they all evolved from their first concept.

  6. Yay! Congrats on writing that final line!! :-)

    I have fresh eyes, when you're ready (if you still need them).

  7. Congratulations. It is such a fabulous feeling seeing a concept through to the end.

  8. Teresa, I will keep you in mind when I'm ready for feedback :)

    Trish, I'm sure you must get a similar feeling when you complete a major painting.

  9. Yippee! I'm excited too. I LOVED the first book.

  10. Crystal, I really hope the sequel can live up to expectations :)


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