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While cleaning last week I ran across an old stack of rolled-up papers. I was surprised to find that I'd saved all the sticky notes I had used on the wall to plot out the scenes in Serabelle, my novel which is due out next week on April 25th. I started writing this book in grad school (the first time around at Lesley University in Boston). Parts of this book were my thesis project with A.J. Verdelle. That was back in 2008. When I graduated, I spent a few years finishing a draft of the novel by writing each scene out, scoring it for dramatic weight and assigning it a storyline. I then moved the scenes around, trying out different story arcs.

It was fun to look through this stack (there are over a hundred scenes overall--this photo contains just a few pages of them.) If you look close, some of the names of characters changed over the years. The main character, Mabel, was originally called Mimi, which was the name we called my great-grandmother who I based her on. The stable boy changed from Billy to Willie as the character developed.

I put Serabelle away for many years in order to work on other projects, so it's gratifying to see it come to fruition over 15 years later. Writers put so much work into their novels; there are so many iterations, so many charts and graphs and cut scenes that the average reader never sees. Sometimes its fun to pull these items out and remember where we've been.

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