When I began writing in 2017, I labeled my novel about working in radio a fictional memoir, as it was based on my experience but embellished. The original name was The Road to Riches, after a contest where listeners pick up game boards and play along on the air to win prizes. Unfortunately, there are a number of finance books using that title!
As I studied writing it became clear, in order to make it into a real book there had to be character development, structure, plot points, a climax. The Me, Too moments--some which happened to me, others to my peers--could be incriminating. And I wanted to incorporate the universal experience of deejays. It had to be fictionalized.
Rewriting it in third person took two years. During that time, I earned a certificate of literary writing through UW-Madison and attended two of their week-long workshops.
It's hard to believe it's taken so long, yet the process has been necessary. Just yesterday I read an article about writing emotions that helped me improve a scene. I'm not sure when it will be 'done' done, but I'm very pleased with what I have, which is a collective, universal story of radio announcers. It's set in the 1980s, yet rings true to this day.
In 2020, after a read-through by a beta reader (who wanted 'more juice') I rewrote many portions, then hired a professional editor, Christopher Chambers, who not only line-edited the book, but skillfully mapped out chapters, outlined each character, and provided a long summary. After that, everything unraveled. I wasn't sure if I could put it back together, but since then I've culled over 50 pages, discovering how a many-page scene that dragged on could be written into an anecdote. I've taken out backstory and added the content into scenes at the beginning. I ditched the ending and wrote a new one. There are less characters and each has their own arc. There are inciting incidents, pinch points, and poetic justice moments. It's been a process of pulling apart, putting back together, then massaging and smoothing.
Last week I wished that before I solicit agents, I could find someone to read it to look for grammar issues and tell me if the inside-radio jokes need to be explained better. Without asking, two friends offered to read the book.
The satisfaction I feel after four years of frustration mixed with excitement is indescribable and I cannot wait to present this book to the world! When? When it's ready! If you'd like to receive a notification when the book is available, shoot me an email.