On Wednesday I had lunch with my friend, Joycelyn. Joycelyn and I worked together, for just under a year, at a private investigator's office. Joycelyn and I have vastly different personalities, but we do have a number of things in common. Two of those things are our work ethic, which fostered in us a mutual respect on the job; and our love of writing. For whatever reason, despite our dissimilar personalities, we greatly enjoy each other's company. (Joycelyn could probably tell you why, as she is trained in the Enneagram of Personality.)
Joycelyn has just completed draft number four of a novel she has been working on for years, but has especially devoted herself to these past 12 to 18 months. I was fascinated while listening to her talk about the extraordinary work she has done to make her novel authentic. For example, she has researched the interior and exterior architecture of buildings and the historic weather reports for the dates and settings in the story; and she has delved deeply into the technicalities of the vocations and avocations of her characters. She has even adopted one of those avocations as her own, after researching, experiencing and falling in love with it. She has "lived" with the characters for so long, and so intimately, that she talks about them as naturally as she does the real people in her life.
Joycelyn expects to go through two more drafts of her novel before she starts submitting it. It seems to me she's done everything right, and that she has a great chance of being published. But she claims that, even if she's not, the experience itself, as well as the new interests her research has piqued, have made the effort worthwhile.
Go Joycelyn! Save me an autographed copy of your first edition.