Swinging Sixties, endless editors and a mega supply of Kleenex….the journey to publication for Only One Woman by Jane Risdon
It has taken Christina Jones and I over 5 years to achieve publication for Only one Woman.
Well, actually, a lot longer in reality – more on that later. One thing it has taught us both is patience and a rock solid belief in what we were doing.
You’d think the easy part of writing a novel together would be once your publisher had
agreed to publish it. All the world is hopefully going to rush to buy it in their millions,
showering you with wonderful glowing reviews all the way to the Times Best Sellers List.
Nope, it is not.
Let me fill you in on our journey. It started in the late 1960s. Yes, we wanted to write
together since then.
Christina, best-selling, award winning author and former rock journalist and once – long ago
– fan club secretary for my husband’s band – and little me, wife of a musician and now
former international rock band manager, have always wanted to write together but we were
never in the same time-zone or available to do so. Also she was a writer of Bucolic Frolics
and I was always on the road overseas; wanting to write but never managing it.
We share a history; my husband – then boyfriend – and his band, employed Christina as their
fan-club secretary and that is how we know each other. We share such an amazing history in
music together and we thought writing about it would be fab. But distance and obligations
kept us from it. Until 5 years ago.
Sitting with my husband’s diaries and fan letters, tour schedules, and photos back in 2012
having just moved house, I started to put fictional ideas down in diary format. Only One
Woman was coming to life. In a very 21st century way using emails, texting and Facebook
messages, I sent what I had to Christina and when her writing commitments allowed she
added her parts and we began to write our novel. Set in 1968 and following the lives of two
girls, Renza and Stella as they fall in love with the same lead guitarist, Scott, unknown to
We wrote 130,000 words and off it went to our publisher in 2014 – completed. They agreed to
publish it later in the year, then they changed the date to February 2015, then May and
October 2016. All the time we tried to get on with other projects knowing we’d have to drop
everything as soon as our editor sent the MS back to us for changes, additions and edits.
Nothing happened. Our editor left and a new one started. Another date was set: February
2017 and we receive our MS with all the work our editor wanted us to do. We rushed and
worked around the clock to get everything done and back in time for February, but – this is
where endless patience is needed – our editor left right in the middle. Another took over and
off we went again with more edits (new brooms and all that) and February came and went –
no publication for us. May 2017 was the target and we set about writing an additional 30,000
words as requested and tried to fit them in to the completed book which was turning into War
and Peace….160, 000 words by now and 772 pages.
Our editor left and we worked with another one briefly, but she left too. May came and went.
We had no idea what was going to happen. November 23rd had been agreed after May, and we
set about the final edits for our publisher without an editor. The book went back on time,
completed, and at last the wheels began to turn to achieve publication – lucky for us another
editor oversaw what was to be the finished novel.
So, Publication day has been and gone (23rd November 2017) and Christina and I are taking
part in lots of blog tours: writing articles and answering interview questions for their readers.
It is hard work and lots of fun, but trying to keep telling the same story over and over and
making the facts sound interesting is hard going. Next May 2018 (24th) Only One Woman
will be in books stores and available to libraries etc and the whole promotion thing will begin
again – this time we shall be physically going out and about spreading the word and we hope,
We will continue to promote, do blogs and interviews online until then. Hard work does not
end with publication. So far we have received some fab reviews online and we have a loyal
following – Christina in her own right is already a successful author – and I have lots of
really fabulous followers too, who usually read my crime stories, so Only One Woman has
been a lot for them to take on board but many have come across to the fluffy side and have
supported me with my temporary change of genre.
I learned when I managed rock bands and worked with record companies that you are always
promoting, always keeping your project high profile and always, always involving fans in the
journey. Without them you have nothing. You are writing for yourself, which is fine, but do
we really want to remain bedroom authors? I think not.
Authors are not all million sellers making tons of money, most are not even making the
minimum wage. We live by reviews and word of mouth and bloggers helping spread the
word – this is how we earn. So if I have one word of advice to writers and readers it is: pay it
forward, blog, review and spread the word. Not just for your own books and favourite authors
but for others too. I have always shared and tried to support authors of all genres, not just
crime, and with Only One Woman I am thrilled that so many have risen to the occasion to
help us both. Huge thanks to them. They are stars.
I said it took 5 years to get the book out there to the buying, reading public, but reading this I
am sure you can see that Only One Woman has taken Christina and I years and years to get to
write this together. Patience and perseverance pays off in the end but you have to be prepared
to work hard and never give up. Now we are hoping and praying our novel is popular and
sells and mostly we hope our readers love it as much as we do. We have laughed and cried
and kept Kleenex in business writing this. So we need to recoup the cost of endless boxes of
tissues for starters.