Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

Latest news from Australian romance author Ally Blake, writer of fun, fresh flirty romance novels.

Saturday, 24 June 2006

craft: into the cave

My lovely little worm on the right hand side of my blog will sadly remain unfed for the new few days while I tackle revisions on my tenth book, working title: "Sunsets Over Sorrento".

I love revisions. Adore them. As an author without a critique partner, or a reader, or a husband who I let near my books unless it's to name the hero's pet, the first reading by my editor is always the first time anyone other than me has seen a single word of my new book. It's thrilling and terrifying both, waiting to hear what she thinks. Especially since having been immersed deeply in a book for the better part of three months, I often wonder how the thing can make any sense to anyone but me at all!

For an author knows soooo much more about the book than what's on the page. The author may know things like the heroine's nickname in school, her favourite song, the colour of her bedroom walls, whether of not she gets PMT, what her laughter sounds like, and what her tears taste like and though none of these things may make it into the end product, the flavour permeates. Does it permeate enough? Are there references made to such intricacies which then make no sense because noone else knows the background, and the backstory?

To me this is the wonder and the magic of writing a book. I don't have one clue how someone is able to grapple 55,000 words into some semblance of a tale that when read feels like it was written in one long stream of consciousness. About heroines readers want to gab with and heroes they fall in love with. Characters who resonate and grab a reader so hard they think about them long after a book has been closed for the final time. It amazes me. And thrills me. And makes me have to pinch myself that again and again I am being given the chance to try to do all of the above.

So off I head, into the mist once more to meet with a guarded soul-weary artist named Maggie, and Tom, the most gorgeous handyman I've ever come to know. Over the next week I will tug the leash a little tighter on my character's forward motion, be a tad more ruthless with their bevy of conflicts, cruelly not allow them to fall for one another not quite as quickly as I fell for the both of them and immerse myself in the sights, sounds and scents of Sorrento, a quaint wealthy little beachside community at the tip of the Mornington Peninsula...