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Log 2008

Foreword – year 2008

After a first interesting year with The Arena Legend, the story goes on with the second instalment... of which title will be disclosed at the end of the summer.
The year 2008 is truly a marathon: things are now done cool-headed and I have to keep the pace. There is more pressure too (though at a lower level) since other people than me now are waiting for the sequel to the first book. However I strangely do not feel this pressure that much, because I’m really happy with the end result for book 2.It’s different from the first one, it goes deeper. I can tell that I’m really fond of this book and that I took a real pleasure in rewriting it – of what I’ve been highly surprised. The truth is that book 2 has never been among my favourites... and that, because -- and I didn’t know that at the third rewriting in 2005 -- three key scenes were missing, which I didn’t include though they appeared in my drafts. Why, I was 22 and didn’t want to rack my brains. But three years later I realised these three censored scenes were crucial. And I put them back.
This new adventure, the second one, will be interesting, thrilling, scary too. For now there is you, the website, and a few coming surprises around this second instalment.
Besides, since last year, I have had more professional responsibilities and I have embraced new domains such as music and, more seriously, film directing. It opens your mind, for you meet varied artists who inspire you and help you push your own creativity further.
However I’m glad today to come back to what I like most: writing stories. And more than happy to meet with my characters again, to set up in search of adventure with them and to immerse myself again in the Arena legend’s mysteries...

January 2008

At the beginning of the year, it is time for introspection. How book 1 has been welcomed was very encouraging, since most people who have read it liked it. But what about book 2?

The big question is: shall I share it with others or not?
You see, what I like most about this saga, is that, besides immortalising most of my relatives, it is a promise I made to my best friend, the promise to write the 8 books so both of us could have them in our own library. That was the plan. That is why I never doubted that I’ll finish writing the saga one day. For her, and for me.
But why not trying to self-publish again and see what happens, knowing that that will in no way change the final objective?
So I edit the novel again which, by chance, I had the good idea to type already. That done, I have it copyrighted (crazy, no?) – or, to be exact, copyrighted again. And I decide it will be available in autumn 2008... if I succeed at gathering my crew again...

February 2008

The decision is made, and after having edited the book I contact the proof-reader who worked on book 1 to see if she would be prepared to join in.
We come to an agreement, and we decide to begin correcting in March. So I have one month to edit my novel again, and be sure about the structure I really want, before sending it to her.
In the same time, I work with the webmaster on the first version of the saga’s website, foreseen for the coming month. I prepare all the content and we discuss about the design.
As for the book, I make a few changes when I read it a second time, but I like this novel more and more, though it was not among my favourites when I designed the whole saga, in 2000.

March 2008

The first chapters of book 2 are sent to the proof-reader. This month, the first version of the website is released. I like it very much though it’s a bit blog-like. However, I show it to several people, among whom a video editor friend of mine, who is always straightforward, thank god, and I’m advised to put forward the fantasy side of the saga.

So, the website is back to the design stage and its release planned for April.
On the writing front, by chance I have improved, as remarked by my proof-reader. My style is getting more established (it’s about time!), dialogues are funnier.
That’s in March that I try to reconnect with the illustrator, to see if he would agree on illustrating the second novel.

April 2008

Work continues.
In April, I decide that a short excerpt of the second book will be put online in June, just before summer. As for the novel, it will be possible to pre-order it online from late September. Therefore, the work with the illustrator, the printer and the designer is planned for the end of the summer.
On 15 April 2008, the website is officially launched and receives 93 visits in 15 days... I wasn’t expecting that at all, to tell the truth.
Proof-reading is going well, and together with the proof-reader we decide on a full rereading, at the end of June.

May 2008

Stress is boiling up, since we’re in the home straight. From now, there is no coming back. This month, more than half of book 2 is proof-read. There is still six chapters to complete before 22 June, before beginning the full rereading.
I receive the illustrator’s agreement for the second instalment, and my marketing assistant for the first book will also help me for the second one, preparation of which seems longer.
I have less people on board this year. Maybe because I know a bit better what to expect. There is the proof-reader, the illustrator, the marketing consultant, the designer and my lawyer.
What’s new this year, I will not distribute through bookshops anymore. Though they were of real support for book 1, when you do decide to be on your own, you do things better... yourself.

June 2008

We finish correcting the novel on 15 June, as planned. The last reading is planned for the last week of the month.
On 16 June, I meet with the illustrator to discuss on what I’d want for the second book. He will begin working on it during the summer, when he finds time.
For all that, things are not finished. Now my attention will mainly be focused on the website and on preparing for the launching of the book, in September.
I have to reread the book to find an extract to put on the website at the end of the month. It has to be quite meaningful and give a good glimpse on book 2 atmosphere and humour.
Then I'll have to talk with the webmaster about the changes to put in place this autumn.
So I’m not easing off and I’m all excited about sharing with you very soon the second episode of the Arena saga...