But I wasn’t really. Isn’t the joke that a writer is done when their book is pried from their cold, dead hands? Well … I won’t let it go quite that far.

I sent draft six of Almost Like Magic to my very trusted Alpha readers, the two people who have been in the trenches with me from the very beginning of this one. They’ve helped me brainstorm when I was stuck, and told me honestly which parts sucked. And that they wanted more. Every writer needs to hear that. All of it.

From their comments, I started draft seven. And that’s it. It’s done. The beast that, at one time a few years ago, was almost 200,000 words is now a trim, non-agent-scaring 111,130 words. A very comfortable number for my genre.

So … what now? Well, now I start sending it out to agents. I have three who expressed interest in it from the PNWA writer’s conference last summer. And three from 2011! And no, a year is not too long to contact them and send them the requested pages. That’ll be my first stop, so to speak. Four years? Well, I’ll re-query them anyway, and start with that. Who knows, they might still be interested. Then, following those rejections, I dig into the list I’ve been compiling for years. Some research will have to happen, to make sure they’re accepting queries, looking for my genre, etc …

Now, here’s some fun news for you. I’m going to do something that I haven’t seen in many blogs. I’m going to tell you all about it. Every rejection, every step, every feeling. I know a lot of writers prefer to keep this part close to the vest, and I get it. I actually struggled with this idea for a few weeks. I’m not going to name names. No one will get shamed. It’ll be Agent 1, Agent 2, and so on.

I’m not doing this for you alone, though, readers. I want to remember what this process was like, how hard it was, how easy it was (fingers crossed), how exhausting. How … I don’t even know what. But as things happen, I’ll post about it. Because I want to get this book published. And I want you to go along with me on the journey.

Wish me luck!