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Friday, January 31, 2014

Why THE TIGER QUEENS Almost Killed Me

I started writing THE TIGER QUEENS on February 4, 2012. (Yes, I'm a nerd and keep records like that.) Almost exactly two years later, the revised manuscript has been sent off to my marvelous, and very patient, editor. This is a very, very good thing, as there were many times I thought this book might be my undoing. 

(That's a nice way of saying it reduced me to a sniveling, raging mess more times than I can count.)

Each book presents its own challenges, but this one was like a Tasmanian devil crossed with a charging Egyptian hippo being whipped by Genghis Khan. 

(I'm done revising, therefore my similes don't have to make much sense.)

If I knew two years ago what feats of writing THE TIGER QUEENS would entail, I might have thought twice about writing a non-traditional narrative featuring four point of view characters spanning eighty years of Mongolian history. However, for the sake of applauding the fact that I'm not writing this from a rubber room, here's some stats from THE TIGER QUEENS. (Just thinking about all this makes me start twitching.)

Point of View characters: 4
Total number of characters: 33
Number of cultures researched: 4 (Mongolian, Chinese, Persian, & Uighur)
Total Pages: 546
All the Extra Stuff: Author's Notes, Character List, Bibliography, and a MAP!
Number of Books I Used for Research: 15
Number of Ice Cream Cakes Consumed During the Writing of the Novel: I lost count... Maybe 10? 
How Many Times I Cursed Genghis Khan: I seriously lost count. 
 One day I'm going to write a nice contemporary novel set in Alaska, told from the POV of a high school history teacher. No one would ever want to read it, but it would be a heckuva lot easier to write!

Now I'm off to research Alexander the Great for Book #4, and you know... eat more ice cream cake.



Amalia T. Dillin said...

You know, I tried the "I'm going to write a book set in the place I live because seriously so tired of all this research!" and...

it was not actually easier at all. Maybe that's just me?

That said! I'm sure you totally rocked The Tiger Queens!

Stephanie Thornton said...

Amalia--I did actually enjoy getting to write snowy, icy winter scenes for once, coming from writing ancient Egypt and Istanbul. Granted, there was one snow scene in THE SECRET HISTORY, but the snow was mixed with the ashes of 30,000 burning corpses... Not quite the same as a chilly winter day in front of a hearthfire.

Renee said...

Ha! I'm sure you're glad it's over. I finally did what I said I had to do - which was write the complete long synopsis for my book #4.

And I did it. Now I can't quite seem to sit down and start writing!

Stephanie Renee dos Santos said...

Stephanie- Wow!This sounds epic! I can't wait to read it!

Best~ Stephanie Renee dos Santos

Stephanie Thornton said...

Renee--Yay! And yes, you'd best get writing because I want to read that book!

Stephanie--I didn't set out to write an epic, but that's what it turned into!

Jemi Fraser said...

Enjoy the ice cream cake - you've more than earned it!! :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

Jemi--The ice cream cake was scrumptious! Peanut butter chocolate from Coldstone... YUM!

vbtremper said...

It might be killing you, but you're an inspiration! Good luck with Alex!


Mark Noce said...

Lol, well it was worth every moment if it helped you make your story more awesome:) BTW, I think I'll invest in ice cream companies going forward;)

Stephanie Thornton said...

Vicki--So far Alex is cooperating, but I don't expect that to last!

Mark--Coldstone would be a wise investment... I'll keep them in business!