Friday, May 24, 2013

Donna Hosie Reveals - How Long Does it Take to Write a Book?

Today I welcome Donna Hosie, whose third book, THE SPIRIT OF NIMUE, comes out next Friday.


“How long does it take to write a book?”

I was asked that question in the lift today at work. I’m always asked that question! It’s a question that is filed away along with “How high can my shoes get before I break my neck?” and “How much chocolate can I consume before I combust?”

An author can’t answer it, because every writer and every manuscript is different.

I started writing THE RETURN TO CAMELOT trilogy over three years ago, but at first, it was only ever a standalone novel. That first book, SEARCHING FOR ARTHUR, took 18 months to write and revise before it was ready for publication. It was a labour of love from start to finish. I started working on the sequel, THE FIRE OF MERLIN, during the revision process for book one, and although the process was easier, it still took 9 months. Ironically, working on two books simultaneously was incredibly helpful in progressing the plot, and I often found myself wondering if that was luck, or whether other writers find that?

The easiest book in the trilogy to complete was the new release, THE SPIRIT OF NIMUE. This beauty damn near wrote itself as I suffered an extreme form of word vomit! Twenty weeks and it was done.

And then I cried.

Writing THE END was a very emotional experience. One that only other writers will get. Three years it took to write these three books. In my personal timeline, in the last three years I have gone back to work after staying at home to raise my family; I have been promoted;
I have travelled to New Zealand, the UK, and the US; and I have gained a New York agent. And these accomplishments don’t include the wonderful family milestones I have had, such as seeing my daughter graduate High School, seeing my middle son grow taller than me, and seeing my youngest blossom into the funniest kid I know.

“How long does it take to write a book?”

Three years, baby. And it was worth every second.

- Donna Hoise

THE SPIRIT OF NIMUE is the conclusion of the Return to Camelot trilogy and releases May 31, 2013.

Find the first two books here:
Searching For Arthur
The Fire of Merlin

Find Donna:
Blog
Facebook
Goodreads

Don’t forget the Get Healthy Bloghop is Wednesday, May 29th!

I was also interviewed by the lovely Ella, who wanted to feature some of my photography on the poetry site, With Real Toads. In addition, she wrote two beautiful poems to go with my images at her SITE.

45 comments:

Karen Jones Gowen said...

3 years, 3 books? And still able to live a life? That is awesome!

randi lee said...

Wow--that's really impressive! And her books sound intriguing...looks like I have more to add to the old reading list :D

Susanne Drazic said...

CONGRATS to Donna. Three books in three years is AWESOME!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I second Karen - three books in three years blows my mind!

Laura Eno said...

Congrats, Donna! One of many strange questions writers get asked. :)

YVONNE LEWIS: said...

I suppose it's different writing poetry to novels but even poetry boks takes a while, one has to have the inspiration for a poem or an experienece to write about.

Yvonne.

Em-Musing said...

Word vomit? LOL! Wouldn't mind getting afflicted with that bug.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Diane & Donna,

Hope the book does well when released.

I find that completion time for each book varies according to how fast the story comes to me.

Laura Marcella said...

That's incredible! Every book is different and each one will take as long as it takes.

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wonderful! 3 books in 3 years, and lots of life too!!! Congrats Donna!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Beautiful covers and congrats on getting a NY agent!

Books take as long as they take, but I've had a few that just flowed and as you say just about wrote themself. I wish they were all that easy. :-)

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Melissa Bradley said...

Great post! How wonderful to read about such an awesome accomplishment. Brag on Donna, you deserve it. :)

Arlee Bird said...

Focus is the best solution for finishing a book. It can be difficult perhaps for those who have jobs, families, and other life distractions. The "git 'er done" approach is what needs to happen and, Donna, you've done it successfully.

Lee
Wrote By Rote

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Everyone is different. Congrats on the series.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Karen, I've done it, but without the life.

Sia, I've had a few fly and and few drag.

David List said...

Those covers look really good. I like the sound of 3 years. My first year was all stumbling in the dark. My second has been trial and error, writing far more complicated material. Hopefully within the year, I, too, will score a NY agent!

Carol Kilgore said...

What a great post! You have your priorities in order.

Waving to Diane!

Gina Gao said...

Being able to write so fast is awesome! I really liked the covers.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Donna Hosie said...

Thanks a million for hosting, Diane.

M.J. Fifield said...

Three books in three years is amazing.

Donna Hole said...

It took about 2 years for me to write my first trilogy; and I'm still revising and editing.

.....dhole

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

So true! Each manuscript is definitely a different experience. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

A book a year is pretty good. Lots of fantasy authors take much longer. Look at George RR Martin. I'm hoping to be able to write quicker when I retire in two weeks!

klahanie said...

Hi Diane and hi Donna,

Wow, that's quite the commitment. Three years for the trilogy. Well done to you. I'm now heading to Tintagel Castle to talk to Merlin.

Gary

shelly said...

Excellent. Tweeted and shared.

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

Johanna Garth said...

A book a year. That sounds about right :) Congratulations!!

Patricia Stoltey said...

And sometimes it takes even longer. Certain stories just need more time.

Melissa Sugar said...

Congratulations to Donna. That's impressive. I agree that most authors can't answer the question of how long it takes to write a book. It's different each time.

Rhonda said...

Artists sometimes get that feeling too. My second painting, I was so focused on the detail, when I looked at the big picture, I cried.

Congrats on book 3.

michelle said...

Three books in three years? Totally impressive!

Writer In Transit

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

That's darned quick to me to write three books. Good for her! May they continue to grow in success. Writer’s Mark

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Donna, you are welcome.

Johanna, I managed that pace once, many years ago...

Jo said...

That is good going, a book a year. I wish all authors were able to achieve that speed when they write trilogies.

JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

Ella said...

Diane!
I so enjoyed getting to know you and seeing how gifted you truly are~ Thank you!
ATB @>--------

Milo James Fowler said...

A book a year is doable -- as long as you don't get sidetracked by short stories and poetry and social media.
In Medias Res

Eric W. Trant said...

Try this answer: Most people spend their whole lives writing their first book, and then they die before they finish.

In reality most professional writers target 1-2 books per year. That's my target, and 6-12 months is a good guess at first-drafting a novel.

- Eric

Nas said...

Congratulations Donna! Sounds great!

All the best!

Sherry Ellis said...

Three years is how long it took me to complete my last manuscript, too! It must be the magic number!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Jo, I cranked out my five book series as fast as I could, and I was writing one a year. It's difficult to maintain that pace though.

Thanks again so much, Ella.

Milo, or promoting.

Eric, I hit that pace for a while. And then it was crash and burn.

Karen Lange said...

I'm impressed! Thanks for sharing this part of your journey with us.

Misha Gericke said...

That's really good. Took me almost six to finish one. ;-)

Jai Joshi said...

I just know it was worth it! Good for you and congratulations on the release next Friday!

Jai

Tara Tyler said...

such a great series! glad she went thru and stuck with it!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Wow, Donna,

That is very impressive! Your perseverance really paid off!

ALL the best...

Hi, L. Diane,

Hope you had an awesome weekend. Hopping over to Ella's to check out your pics.

Looking forward to our blog hop tomorrow!

Medeia Sharif said...

That's amazing productivity and drive.