The Butterfly Storm – WIPpet Wednesday

Today is the 1st May and exactly six weeks until I publish and launch my novel, The Butterfly Storm. To celebrate that fact – and also because it’s getting more and more difficult to find suitable extracts from Time Shifters that don’t give too much of the plot away – I’m going to use WIPpet Wednesdays to post snippets from The Butterfly Storm leading up to launch day on the 12th June.

Up until the point of being published a novel is continually a work in progress. It starts with an idea, then builds plot and characters. Then there’s the first rough draft, then a second, third, fourth and fifth draft (or more) where the novel gets butchered and then put back together again hopefully into something that resembles a story with heart, a plot that keeps a reader hooked and believable characters that can be related to. After that there’s the final editing process, which is the time to weed out any inconsistencies, such as ensuring the character who has blue eyes in chapter 1 doesn’t have hazel eyes by chapter 21, and make sure each chapter, paragraph, sentence and word counts towards moving the story along. After that comes the proofreading stage to catch the last of any formatting, spelling and grammatical errors.

Even though I’ve got to that end stage every time I read through The Butterfly Storm I’m reading it as a writer and editor wanting to find ways of improving it and I’m not even sure that thought process will actually stop once I publish it. Will it even be possible for me to read it from a reader’s rather than a writer’s point of view? Either way I can confidently say that I’m very happy with my novel and how it’s has turned out – and I should be after nine years in the making.

So, in celebration of the 1st May, it being a beautiful sunny spring day here in Bristol and my launch being just a few weeks away, I give you one paragraph from chapter one of The Butterfly Storm. The following scene is set in Greece, Sophie is the narrator and Takis and Despina are Sophie’s Greek boyfriend’s parents.

It’s early July and it’s been over a hundred degrees in the shade all week. I’ve never felt heat like it. The cats lie spread-eagled beneath the vines, clinging to what shade they can. They look miserable, not even venturing towards the fields in search of mice, lizards or snakes. Even Takis, the calmest person I’ve ever met, curses the weather as much as Despina does. No one steps outside between midday and three. In the nearby village, roads are deserted and blinds and shutters are closed as if a hurricane is on its way rather than a heatwave. Only in the evening, after their siesta, do people reappear, to sit on their porches and fan themselves. Despina makes frappes and Takis drinks them outside the kitchen door as fast as they appear.

It’s easy to join in with WIPpet Wednesday, just post an extract from your WIP that relates in some way to the day – one line or paragraph from chapter one or even chapter 11 for example – and then add the link to the linky over on K L Schwengel’s blog.

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  1. Ugh! I can feel the heat and I hate it. I want a frappe! :) And if I haven’t said it, congratulations on the impending release. Exciting.

    • Thanks Kathi! I don’t cope well in the heat either so just as well that I live in the UK rather than in Greece… although the heat in Greece tends to be a nicer dry heat than the sticky summers we get here – when we do actually get a summer of course.

  2. Wow, how do you feel about the book’s release getting so close? Excited? Nervous? Happy to be almost done with picking at it? :)

    I’d love to go to Greece (though I’m with kathils, the heat would kill me), and I can’t wait to see what this story is all about.

    • I’m feeling excited about it, although a little nervous as I think that comes with the territory. Having started writing it in 2004 I will be very happy to be finished with it and seeing it finally published. :-)

  3. I SOOOO want to read this when you’ve published it Kate. This short extract reads very well and your attention to detail is wonderfully precise. I wish you all the best with it when you do publish it. You deserve to be successful. :)

  4. Sounds heavenly! I may need to bookmark this WIPpet and come back to it every time the winter chill gets a little too deeply set in my bones. Ahhh! To be able to drink a frappeccino without shivering! But everything is relative. I’d probably start feeling the same way about the Alaskan snow if I had to live in that heat all the time.

    • It’s the same way in Greece with everyone wishing it was cooler when it’s ridiculously hot in the height of summer. Oh, for a frappeccino in the sunshine by a beach in Greece… :-)

  5. Congrats Kate on just six weeks away! This is so exciting! Why did you choose June 12? Is there a significance to the date, or is that just the square that got circled on the calendar?

    • I know it’s really exciting! No real significance to the 12th June except with so much going on in the next couple of months that week seemed like the best week to launch my book and midweek seemed like a good day to choose (it’s also a Wednesday so it will be an extra special WIPpet post that day).

  6. This is so exciting! I can’t wait to get a copy!

    I love the WIPpet, I’m getting hot and bothered just reading it. I love the image of everyone out on the porches with frappes in the evening.

  7. UGH! Heat… Cannot take heat, even dry heat (though humid heat is hard too). I can see why Despina would resent the temperature, especially if she’s trying to serve cool drinks…. Poor lady. Hope a cool spell comes soon.

    Oh, and now I want to know what is going to happen in the nearby village too..

    • Thanks Eden – yeah, the heat is a bit oppressive in this scene and quite a few of the chapters set in Greece. We’re always wishing for sunshine and hot weather in the UK but when it does get hot, I’m like you, I don’t deal with it very well!

  8. Pingback: Kate Frost – Ice Cream and Cigarettes – WIPpet Wednesday

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