distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

The Title of My New Novel Revealed

For some time, if you’ve been reading this blog, you may have noticed that I’ve been hard at work on a secretive new novel. This was a novel that first started coming out of me when I was away from home, outside my real life. I still vividly remember writing its very first words (then pounding out its first 50 pages in a mad spree of inspiration never matched since) while I was away in the spring of 2010 at Yaddo. When I got home after my four-week stay up in Saratoga Springs, I put the novel aside to revise Imaginary Girls. I didn’t return to it again until I was away from home for another residency, this time at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire in the winter of 2011. It was there, in my little house in the woods, where I wrote some more dark and darkly inspired pieces of this new book. It wasn’t until I came home in February of 2011 that I started to work on this book in the harsh light of day. By that I mean reality. By that I mean in my overly distracted and scattered life here in New York City. This is where I stalled. The first draft wouldn’t come easily. It threatened my sanity. It forced me to relearn everything I thought I knew about writing novels. Let’s just say that it took a lot out of me.

Even once I finished the first draft and turned it in to my editor, I was knotted with doubt and fear. I was feeling very low and was beginning to worry that I’d written an unpublishable thing that couldn’t be salvaged. But I’d forgotten something. THE REJUVENATING POWERS OF REVISION*! (Cue the choir, the birds chirping, the foil-covered chocolates raining from the sky, the bubbling fountain of pomegranate** margaritas.) I still have work to do, but I can see what the novel will become now. And I’m here to tell you it can be salvaged. It will be a book. I can’t wait.

So, to celebrate, I am going to tell you the title of this new novel! I got permission to reveal it and everything.

My new novel is called…

17 & GONE

…and it’s forthcoming from Dutton in 2013!

I will reveal

  1. the season
  2. the hook
  3. the summary
  4. the voice
  5. the genre
  6. the inspirations
  7. the girls
  8. the significance of 17
  9. the moment this book title was first uttered in the cramped kitchen of my tiny apartment
  10. and by who
  11. the real-life experiences from the artist colonies that entered the book, including
  12. the girl on the bicycle
  13. the tick bite
  14. the ice storm
  15. the dark road in the dark night
  16. the knock on the door
  17. and more…

when I can!

17 & GONE is like nothing I’ve ever written before… and yet it is so completely, deeply me. You’ll see.

* My editor is made of magic.

** In my land, the perfect drinks are always made with pomegranate.

15 responses to “The Title of My New Novel Revealed”

  1. Nova,
    This is very exciting! I hope my little cabin in the woods works out for me the way yours did. Maybe someday if I need to go traveling for anything, you can come and stay in my cabin and have another residency!

    P.S. Very cool about Dani…I missed that news! I love that book and everyone I’ve given it to loves it too!

  2. “The rejuvenating powers of revision.” So true. I’m almost done with my first pass of revisions on my 2013 novel and every time I think “my editor is amazing and HOW DID I MISS THIS but THANK GOD she didn’t!”

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