Craig’s note: My debut novel, 600 Hours of Edward, was born last year at this time, during National Novel Writing Month. My wife, Angie, asked if she could write a guest post to look back on the past year from her perspective. It’s my pleasure to present it here.
By Angie Buckley Lancaster
It been a long journey for Edward in the past year, from living solely in my husband’s imagination to his story being flung onto the page as fast as the keyboard allowed. Last year, when Craig decided to do NaNoWriMo, I believed he could do it. But I had no clue he’d do it so well.
November 2008 is the month my husband refers to as when we test-drove divorce, but I was really just thrilled that he was showing interest in life again, even if it was Edward’s life he was most excited about. In July 2008, Craig was in a motorcycle accident that tested our patience, our marriage and my gag reflexes. Craig went into November a guy recuperating from a dance with the pavement. He came out of November an author.
It’s still hard for me to imagine people being all that excited about his talent. I mean, really, he cheers for his own farts. But I think the part that I don’t get is how everyone didn’t already know how great he was. I knew he could write. I knew he could write 80,000 words. I knew he could tell a story. And I knew he could do it better than anyone else.
I got to know Edward pretty quickly, too, coming home from work to read Craig’s latest progress. It was just like reading a “real” novel, eagerly awaiting the next installment and wondering what would happen next in his life. Edward has been through some “life changes” (read: revisions) but he will always be as he was initially in my mind – part of an adventure that ended with more influence in my life than I’d previously imagined.
See, I didn’t marry an author. I married a man hopelessly devoted to and doting on me. So when last November I could barely get him to turn around long enough from the computer to have a conversation (let alone to let me check my OWN e-mail!) he assured me that this new lifestyle would be temporary. It would all be over Nov. 30.
Well, Craig lied. A passion was ignited that drove Craig to not only edit, revise, publish, send queries and so on and so forth, but he decided to do it AGAIN. And again. His life – and as a result, mine – is dominated by blogging about his book, talking about his book, trying to get his book published, searching for an agent. He’s learned so much about not just publishing and writing but also about himself.
People are always surprised by how much they like 600 Hours of Edward. It seems that perhaps they didn’t know Craig is such a gifted writer. I always knew it, and so their praise and surprise is met with my own pride and the satisfaction of being assured that, indeed, my husband is that good.
We – and by we, I mean Craig – are 2,000-plus words into this year’s NaNoWriMo. I know the basics of the story that is developing, and even get to help mold the main character’s interactions with social service agencies (not to the level of being Dr. Buckley, of course, but I suppose not every book can have a character named after me). But regardless of which characters come next from Craig, Edward will always be the first and in some ways will always have the most special place in my heart. Because more than anyone, it’s his creator – my husband – who is the greatest character of them all.