I think I’m done. Finally. I’ve lost track how many revision passes I’ve done on Nine Bucks a Pound over the past couple of years. A couple of them were too extensive to even call revisions. They were more like rewrites. Slowly, over time, the story took the shape it’s now in, which is significantly different in all but the main concept from how it began back in the fall of 2008, when I wrote three chapters for a writing workshop. To look back on it now brings to mind Doc Brown from Back to the Future:
“It’s taken me almost thirty years and my entire family fortune to realize the vision of that day, my god, has it been that long. Things have certainly changed around here. I remember when this was all farmland as far as the eye could see. Old man Peabody, owned all of this.”
It’s not quite back to the days of Old man Peabody, but to put things in some perspective, I started writing this book a year before my son was born. He’s now four, and starting to read and spell words himself.
None of those initial three chapters survived the journey, though three of the main characters (Del Tanner, Ian Wicker, and Ryan Edsell) were concocted there. Wicker and Edsell have remained relatively true to their original form, though Del went through some changes. He came off too passive and meek in early drafts. He’s got more personality now, someone who makes, and eventually owns, his decisions instead of simply reacting to the world around him. The meek may inherit the earth, but in the meantime no one wants to read about them, because they’re too boring.
I finished checking my final (hopefully) corrections this weekend. All that’s left now is to order a proof of the book and confirm everything looks as it should on paper. Once I’m satisfied with that, I’ll convert it to ebook format and upload it to Amazon. I’ve been targeting March 1 for a release date, and I’m optimistic that I’ll make that, plus or minus a couple of days depending on how things break.
Now comes the fun part, marketing it (he says, tongue planted firmly in cheek). In theory I’m starting off ahead of where I was two years ago when The Greatest Show on Dirt was released. Now I just need to remember everything I learned along the way.