From dung heap to gold… When your book finally crosses that threshold

Last night, it happened. Mexican Heat, the sequel to Sold Out, went from being a project that’s frustrated me to no end, to finally — FINALLY! — starting to really come together.

And it’s an amazing thing as an author when that happens. Your project goes from a months-long exercise of frustration to a priceless piece of art. Almost instantly.

In the case of Mexican Heat, I nailed down about seven or eight of the final plot points for its ending. And in doing so, this massive file of words — that’s made me pull my hair out and consider giving up a hundred times — crossed the threshold.

It went from being a file on Google Docs that I lackadaisically backed up on thumb drives about once  a month to being something that I nervously saved, made copies of, and even emailed to others so that they could save it on their hard drives (and email servers).

It’s really hard to describe this feeling, but essentially in my case, here’s what happened: This Work In Progress (WIP) that I’ve wanted to drop and move on from since about its sixth or seventh chapter transformed last night from a dung heap that I wanted to throw in the trash and never remember to something worth thousands of dollars.

Of course, that’s assuming the book doesn’t suck, but it seems that by this point in my life I should be able to decide about whether something sucks or not. And in my mind, this book (Yes, it’s a book now! Not a WIP!) most certainly doesn’t suck.

I had been frustrated with some of political aspects of the book — it does, after all, involve the Mexican President and their federal government — but last night ended those concerns, big time. The story finally ties together and has some nice twists to it, and even the Mexican President is no longer just a “prop.”

So, now I have a book that reveals much more about Nick Woods’s character and is loaded with the “typical Stan” amount of action, which is to say it’s crammed full. And it has the Stan-style pace, since I can’t stand any other.

Thus, it’s something I’m confident will sell fairly strong and help me and Danah as we continue to try to dig our way out of some early lean years of owning a start up — The Oak Ridge Observer.

Bottom line, I’m super pumped and see the end in sight!

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

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