It’s About Time

With just over 1 month left before Falling for Hamlet hits the shelves, I thought I’d deal with the issue of time. I started writing the book in 2007 and finished my last revisions in 2010. As I close in on the end of this journey, I reflected on the mathematics of the writing.

And so with no further ado (or much ado), here are the numbers:

23 years on Earth before I told anyone I made up stories

1 year after that I started writing down the stories

3 more years before I told friends I wrote

2 more years before I showed people anything I’d written

11 years spent on my first manuscript, which is still not quite right

4 years ago I saw the Hamlet that inspired my story

3 months spent on first draft of Ophelia’s tale

1 ½ years polishing and getting feedback

17 months searching for an agent

3 times (at least) I gave up trying to find an agent

1 definite decision to stop writing

5 minute inspirational conversation with musician-friend who convinced me to try again

2 months after finding agent, manuscript sold (unusual, but true. Yay, Joan)

0 times my agent and I have met in person

1 great conversation with editor (Yay, Alvina) that told me she was the right one for me

3 lunches with fabulous editor and her team in NYC

1 week of stressing before being able to face my first round of post-contact revisions

1 box full of drafts, which led to not printing anymore (go green!)

1,000 hours telling myself I couldn’t do it

1,001 hours of husband saying I could

81 titles thrown around before it became Falling for Hamlet

1 redesign of skirt for cover

96,941 words in final manuscript

21 months between acceptance of manuscript to date of publication

80+ times friends have asked, “Isn’t your book out yet?”

1 month left before publication (YAY!)

1 very excited writer who never thought she’d be an author



Filed under Agents, Celebrations, cover art, Editing and Revising, Editor, Publishers and Editors, rejection and success, Writing, Writing and Life

14 responses to “It’s About Time

  1. Natalie Dias Lorenzi

    Love the way you crunch those numbers, Michelle. 🙂

    Here are some more:
    Number of miles between my house and the location of your August book launch: 18.1
    Number of miles away I’ll be on your book launch party date: 4,411
    How disappointed I am about the above numbers (on a scale of 1 to 10): 11
    Number of happy decibels I’ll be shouting across the pond when your book is released: 157



  2. Lynda Mullaly Hunt

    HI, Michelle! I’m just SO excited for you!!! One month!? Hard to believe!

    I, too, love the way your crunch the numbers! Very clever!


  3. I loved this. The one that really resonated with me right now is the 81+ times of people asking if it’s out yet. Someone heard me talking about my new manuscript yesterday and asked me “Have you sold lots of the other one?” (meaning, had I sold lots of copies of my debut book–the manuscript was only acquired in November and won’t be out until Fall 2012–that’s so hard to convince people!)

    The hardest number on the list at the moment is 1 month to go! I am getting really excited to read it, and to celebrate it’s arrival.


  4. J. Anderson Coats

    7 fellow EMUs who are completely stoked for you!

    Tons of readers who will love your book and look forward to the next one.


  5. Michelle Ray

    Thanks for your enthusiasm everyone.


  6. Erin E. Moulton

    Love this, Michelle!


  7. Love the post it’s so hopeful for all us still counting the years and holding on to the dream – have a wonderful journey and good luck – hope you’re touring somewhere near me (North California)!


    • Michelle Ray

      Thank you! I’m not touring at all. Signing in a couple places where I’ve lived and there’s a built-in audience, but nothing more glamorous or extensive. I’ve always wanted to go to NC.


  8. I hope your future readers are too numerous to be counted!


  9. I can’t wait (CAN’T WAIT) for your book to come out! Good luck and where is your book launch? Nowhere near Colorado, I’m guessing…


    • Michelle Ray

      The party will be in DC (near where I live, at the Shakespeare Theatre Co. where I saw the Hamlet that I adored), then LA (where I grew up) & NY ‘burbs (where I used to live). My CO friends are annoyed that I’m not coming out, but my travel time and dollars only go so far. ; )


  10. We are so thrilled, and we’re counting down with you!
    12 WNY sheep…anticipating FALLING FOR HAMLET!


  11. I love all the numbers too, and can empathize with the crazy long wait between getting the call and publication. When I tell people I finally got a book deal, their faces light up. When I tell them it won’t be out until Spring 2013, their reaction is “Whaaaat?”

    Congrats on your dream being sooooo close!


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