I have no idea why this post is so difficult to write, but it is, so I have to apologize. I finished Mirrorpass over three weeks ago. It took eleven months to write, and finished at 95,000 thousand words. But that's not why I couldn't post. I've been excited about Mirrorpass ever since the beginning, and my readers have, too. They loved it. They raved. I have never been so giddy about a story in my entire life--so sure of it's uniqueness. Which is really why this is difficult to write. I feel foolish for yammering about how wonderful my novel is, because for one it's rather egotistical, and for two, it makes it sound like my novel is actually pretty lame. (Who praises their own novel and deserves it, right?)
I just can't seem to do Mirrorpass justice. If you knew me, you'd know that I never talk about my work this way. I've written around six novels in the past six years. I've never submitted any of them for publication. When I was a teenager, I had many other teenagers tell me I should get published when I knew I wasn't ready. I realized that if I ever wanted to be taken seriously and take myself seriously, I needed to be realistic about when something was worth publishing, and when it was not.
Many of my novels suffered from fatal flaws that made it impossible to edit the story into publishable quality. So I developed some mental rules about when I'd let myself submit. Only if the novel was good beyond doubt. Only if it worked, from start to finish. Only if it could sit on a shelf with the best of them. Only if it lacked that fatal flaw, and instead, had the something special that gets a book published. Maybe it's a foolish system, but I felt that it gave me more faith in myself. I trusted I would write something good in time.
It is an incredibly huge step for me to even allow myself to consider publishing Mirrorpass. Which I am. Although I won't know for sure until after the edits, which I plan to begin after a nice hiatus, I think Mirrorpass might be the first novel of mine to ever make the cut. I've simply never gotten a reaction like this before, one that is so beyond doubt. I'm excited. I'm afraid to hope for it after all this time of patience. But I wanted to share this people now, because although I have know way of knowing what will really happen, I don't think Mirropass is going away.
It's a special novel and I am so awestruck at how it turned out. I can remember struggling with every plot point, every bit of internal dialogue. I can remember doing homework all week and brainstorming about Mirrorpass, salvaging as much time as I could on the weekends to write like a crazy person, until my fingertips were sore and my back ached. I had no time for writer's block. If I lost a weekend, I would have to suffer another whole week with the story burning inside of me. And because I drove an two-hour round trip to school ever day, those drives turned into endless brainstorming sessions that fueled me into each weekend.
The ending was killer, because although I'd reached 75,000 by the end of my first semester, it wasn't over, and I was determined to write "the end" before next semester. I basically wrote 20,000 words in three weeks. I'm still burnt-out from that one!
So it was a pretty wild journey for me. I'm trying to forget about Mirrorpass in a sense, so I can come back to the edits with fresh eyes, but it's truly difficult. I want to stay in that world forever. This post is almost commemorative for me. I wanted to share some of my experience and excitement with you guys. In honor of it all, here's a formal summary of Mirrorpass.
The Pass has haunted Aria all of her life. Her twin brother Zaire was one of many to fall through the energy sphere and never return. It would have been easier to die with him then, than to fight for every day, alone. But Aria has no choice when a freak accident sucks her into the Pass—and lands her in an eerie, backwards world. Earth.
What the humans want most is the thing Aria can’t give them: an explanation of her arrival. Because here, there’s no Pass. No way home. And without her crystal, which Aria lost during the fall, she's slowly loosing touch with her soul. In her struggle for survival, Aria develops a new purpose: to find her crystal, save Zaire, and solve the mystery of the Pass for good. There’s a reason no one has ever returned. Aria might not be able to save them both.