If there’s one thing I’ve learned since publishing my first book 18 months ago it’s never, ever, ever release a book that isn’t completely ready. I love writing but the editing and tidy up process melts my head. There’s all the big stuff to catch like why is the hero so cranky, or why is the heroine standing up again when she never sat down. Or how come her dress is red when it was green two paragraphs ago. And, that’s before the hunt for typos begins.
Sometimes, I can laugh about it all, like just yesterday my editor wanted to know why my character was on the phone when she’d thrown her phone into the bushes less than two pages back and hadn’t gone after it. Other times I want to cry, like just yesterday when she said…’eh, this bit is confusing the hell out of me.’
So, my initial thoughts? ”Ugh, I don’t want to do this any more. This book is KILLING ME.” But then I reread a Facebook message she’d sent me in the middle of the night, cause she’d stay up half the night reading, telling me that she hated me right now because she’d spent two hours bawling. And then I knew, this book is killing me because I love it so much and I have to do the characters justice. If that means staying up until silly o’clock re-writing parts here and there, well then that’s okay. I know I’ll have a book to be proud of when I’m done. If you fancy a peek at the prologue, scroll on down.
The nightmare fell so suddenly upon us that I don’t remember exactly when or how it began. I don’t remember seeing the lights change or pressing my foot on the accelerator. I don’t remember if baby Katie was crying or if she had lulled herself back to sleep. I don’t remember the nursery rhyme Bobby hummed to himself as he munched on a mouthful of mushy Milky Bar. But I do remember the fear, the burning horror that stuck to my mind like superglue. It was, in reality, a split second, but for me it played out in terrifying slow motion.
My own petrified screams drowned out the high-pitched squeals of brakes, fighting to grind our car to a halt. The thud was so sudden that my mind struggled to catch up with the rapid images that flashed before my eyes. The pressure of my heart pulsating viciously against my chest was almost painful.
Our car was spinning, that much I knew, but I had no idea in what direction. We were moving at a speed my car had never seen. The normal events of the busy street were interrupted as passers-by held their breaths in disbelief. Trees, street lamps, and traffic lights blended into an array of muddled colours as they rushed closer to the windscreen. It was like a scene from a Hollywood action movie, but the crash dummies were real people. They were just babies, my babies. And I couldn’t help them.
Painful pressure forced my eyes shut; the outside world was now a blank. The flip of our car as the driver’s side wheel mounted the curb was, I’m sure, a breathtaking crescendo to the scattered spectators powerless to help. The seat belt banished the air from my lungs as it fought to save my life. My body, restrained in the driver’s seat, thrashed from side to side like a rag doll between an angry dog’s jaws. For a moment, I imagined myself outside the car. Just a casual shopper stumbling upon a horrific crash and hoping nobody would be hurt; all the while suspecting it was unsurvivable.
Suddenly, there was a ferocious bang on the passenger side of the car, and I couldn’t hear Katie and Bobby crying anymore. And then, just as quickly as it had begun, it was over. A few seconds had left a mark that would last forever. Nothing would ever be the same again. Everything was still and terrifyingly silent as my mind lay trapped inside my limp body. Maybe people were rushing to help. Maybe no one came. I don’t know. All I know is that was the moment I stopped fighting for my life. That was the moment I stopped being me.
No Kiss Goodbye – Coming Sept 3rd