Post-Deadline Unreality

Post-deadline unreality – what happens after your work is submitted to a publisher?

Today I am introducing Sue Moorcroft – that’s her on the left 😉

Sue’s post Post-deadline Unreality talks about her experiences in publishing her latest book – Dream a Little Dream

You can learn more about Sue here; and her blog at for news and writing tips. You’re welcome to befriend Sue on Facebook or Follow Sue on Twitter.

There’s a stage in a book’s life that I don’t see much talked about: post-deadline unreality. It develops like this:

I write Dream a Little Dream, which is due out in November 2012; my beta readers give me feedback, I revise and polish, and submit it to my publishers, Choc Lit, bang on the 31st January deadline.

Phew! Whoop! Yeahhhh! For a day or two, I never want to see the book again.

The next couple of weeks are like a school holiday – I feel end of termish, I chill, I catch up, I cut a swathe through my To Do list, I attend lunches and meetings I had no time for in the two or three months pre-deadline.

Then I begin to wonder when I can reasonably expect to hear cries of delight from Choc Lit

By the end of the third week, I enquire, casually, whether Dream a Little Dream has been read, yet.

I wonder whether they hate it, and don’t know how to tell me.

I become quite sure that they hate it, and soon will be telling me!

I begin to rewrite it in my mind, knowing exactly what’s most hated, and formulate ways to save the book.

I receive an email saying that it will be read this weekend. Oh. OK. Nobody yet hates it. Good.

On Monday, I look for email to say whether it’s loved or hated.

Tuesday: ditto.

Wednesday: ditto.

Thursday – email! Dream a Little Dream is loved! Hurrah! I am happeeeee! I’m told, ‘It’s OK, you can breathe again.’ There will be revisions, of course, but it doesn’t sound like anything major. My editor’s working on other projects but will send me editorial notes in a couple of weeks.

End of term feeling reasserts itself. I chill. I’m all caught up so I check my Amazon rankings a lot and get my accounts done for my accountant.

And then I begin to miss my characters. Liza wants to make her motivation clearer in a particular scene. She’s thought of something clever to say to cut Dominic down to size. Dominic’s thought of things he’s forgotten to tell me about how he feels about Liza. I make notes. I want to be with my characters again. But I must be strong! When I receive my edits, I’ll return to Liza and Dominic for several weeks and will need all the objectivity with which absence will reward me.

But I still want to be with them.

I cruise a couple of the sites I used for research, in case any new developments have arisen that could augment/mess up my book.

I wonder what the cover will look like.

I talk to Choc Lit about the next book, and I try not to get drawn too far into it because I don’t want to begin living with those characters. I haven’t yet finished with Dominic and Liza. I want them back. I miss them.

I write columns and deal with students and competition entrants. I have a cover created for Where the Heart Is, a serial that ran in a magazine before Christmas, and self-publish it as a novella, as I have my other serials … and I miss Dominic and Liza some more.

I post on Facebook about this, and am told that this is not normal behaviour – for a normal person.

I cheer up. I’m not weird, I’m a writer. I am not a normal person! I’m a novelist. For me, this IS normal behaviour!

Normal for post-deadline unreality. Such an unreal place to be.

Hope I get my edits soon … I miss Dominic and Liza.


Sue Moorcroft writes romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes for Choc Lit. Her latest novel, Love & Freedom, won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 at the Festival of Romance. She’s a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner. Combining writing success with her experience as a creative writing tutor, she’s written a ‘how to’ book, Love Writing – How to Make Money From Writing Romantic and Erotic Fiction (Accent Press). Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles and courses and is the head judge for Writers’ Forum.

All of Sue’s Choc Lit novels and Love Writing are available as paperbacks and ebooks. Her early stuff is available in ebook format.

Are you a Chic Lit fan? Have you read anything by Sue?

We would love to hear from you.

About Seba Silver

In June 2011 my wife and I opened a small store on the beautiful Dalmatian Island of Korcula. Our store (Seba Dizajn) showcases stunning filigree jewellery, all work is made on site offering you the fascinating chance to see filigree jewellery being made. Visit us at to see and purchase some of our filigree jewellery. The Seba family have been working, and creating beautiful pieces of filigree jewellery for over 500 years.
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9 Responses to Post-Deadline Unreality

  1. Helz-Design says:

    lovely to hear about this part in book production coz my work usually starts later … when all the editing is done and the book is ready to be layouted and made up 🙂 … which is a pretty long process too.

    i am not so much in chick lit or romantic lit, my personal focus is on crime stories, mystery thrillers or fantasty!

    • Seba Silver says:

      Thanks Helen. I found it interesting too, I love reading and your work in layout and the ‘Post-Deadline Unreality’ of Sue’s are two parts of the process that I hadn’t thought about before meeting either of you!

  2. Michele Taylor Coach says:

    Loving this articulate and honest expression of the creative process. SOunds entirely ‘normal’ to me (whatever that is: over-rated, I think)..!

  3. Isi Dixon says:

    Since I’d like to write a “proper” book as well some time (I’ve already written an eBook) this is really interesting for me. You hear so much about the writing process and then later the editing process, so it was quite interesting to get some insight into the “limbo”. Thanks. 🙂

    • Seba Silver says:

      Hi Isi, thanks so much for taking the time to comment on Sue’s piece, I also found her piece interesting. Congratulations on the e-book – what are you writing about?

  4. Know exactly how you feel, Sue – particularly about the loooooong pause after submission, which is where I always become convinced I’ve written the worst book in the world and berate myself for ever having the nerve to send it in!

  5. suemoorcroft says:

    Thanks for your comments, everyone. I have to say that my expectations of when to hear cries of delight are highly optimistic! But that doesn’t stop me hoping … 🙂

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