So, I decided to work out how long each of my novels took from first draft to final draft or on to publication and I wasn’t expecting the results.

Novel Manuscript 1

I started my experimental literary fiction novel in September 2010 and finished it in March 2012, so a year and a half for this one. It remains unpublished, and though I plan to release it at some point, my focus is on my published and forthcoming novels for now.

Gods of Avalon Road

Two years from August 2013 to September 2014 followed by a hiatus, then completion between December 2016 and November 2017. I did all my research in the summer of 2013 while on 6 weeks of annual leave from the London secondary school where I worked. I then wrote the first draft of Gods of Avalon Road in 6 months, with another 6 months to revise it. However, life got in the way in autumn 2014 so I took a 2 year hiatus from writing while my husband and I navigated relocation from London, England to Belfast, Northern Ireland in August 2016, a change of jobs for both of us, getting set up in a new home and the arrival of our little one. I picked up the manuscript again around Christmas 2016 and finished it by November 2017, at which point it was out on submission for 2 years. I was given an offer of publication by Blossom Spring Publishing in June 2019 with a release date of 23rd October 2019. Six years from first draft to publication.

The Buddha’s Bone

Two years and seven months from March 2013 to June 2014 with a long hiatus (for the same reasons as above). Resumed in November 2019 and completed in November 2020. After interest by a US publisher in December 2020, this went through further edits until it was finally completed in March 2021. As The Buddha’s Bone was published in October 2021, this was eight and a half years from first draft to publication.

Novel Manuscript 4

My psychological/supernatural horror novel began life as a short story in June 2020, which was later published by Scarlet Leaf Review. I began expanding it into novel form in November 2020 and completed it in December 2021, so 1 year and 1 month for this one. It’ll be released in October 2022.


I honestly had never thought about this before and realised that the total time taken for my two published books was longer than I had thought. I’m getting much quicker though, so long as life doesn’t intervene!

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:

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