This weekend I’ve been taking a moment to reflect on how many drafts my forthcoming novel, The Buddha’s Bone, has been through. It will soon be published on 25th October, and I suppose I’m already feeling sentimental about the journey.

I was doing some bookshelf reorganisation while trying to find a spooky Halloween read yesterday and came across my old printed drafts wedged in there. I originally started draft 1 of The Buddha’s Bone back in 2013, but put it on the back-shelf to work on Gods of Avalon Road instead – which ended up being my debut novel, released in 2019 by Blossom Spring Publishing.

I tinkered with The Buddha’s Bone on and off around 2017, but I only properly came back to this project in 2020 and completed it over Easter break in April last year, during lockdown. After sending it to a fabulous editor friend for a final polish, off it went to publishers in November 2020. It had a full manuscript request in December 2020, then detailed editorial feedback from the same publisher to start getting it prepped for publication in January 2021. However, due to impending lockdown and poor communication on the part of the publisher, this sadly didn’t go any further. Instead I was left with a finished, professionally edited book and a frustrated feeling towards traditional publishing.

This is what finalised my decision to go into business for myself. It’s now exactly fourteen days until The Buddha’s Bone is released under my own imprint. To say I’m excited is an understatement.

If you are a writer, I’d be curious to know how many drafts your work in progress goes through before becoming a fully fledged novel, ready to fly out into the wide world. 😊

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her writing centres around protagonists who are on a journey of self-discovery and who explore their identity by overcoming adversity. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry. In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing ezine, with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from literary pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary tot, a voracious reader of construction vehicle books. CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA: https://mailchi.mp/17e6ca162ff3/leilanie-stewart-author

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