Let me get straight to the point: It’s been too long between releases. For you and for me. Sixteen months have elapsed since the last Faderville novel came out and nine months have gone by since the second Sam McNamee Mystery was published. I have been writing the whole time, honest, but I’d let my focus get scattered in too many directions. Some writers can crank out novels while sitting in the busiest Starbucks in downtown New York City. Others can do it at the kitchen table while pets romp through the house and toddlers bang on pots and pans. More power to the superwriters who can do that. I used to freeze up during an essay test whenever the teacher roamed the rows of desks scanning for cheaters. I have to banish family members from my writing cave and clear my calendar of social obligations to get done what I need to. Which rarely happens.
But sometimes, when writing projects get strung out longer than they should, something wonderful happens. It’s called ‘Inspiration’. and life provides it at unexpected times. In observing the world around me, skimming online articles, paying attention to friends’ social media posts, reading books, and watching TV, ideas leap out of the blue and grab me by the shirt collar, then shout full force into my face: “This would be GREAT to put in one of your books!”
I started writing the third Faderville novel, Say Something, at the end of 2015. I had a solid set of characters for the novel: a runaway teenager named Beam, a homeless drifter known as Buzz, and his stolen dog, Hush. Two-thirds of the book was there in my head from the beginning. Usually, the rest comes as I write. This time, however, I kept stalling. And stalling. And stalling. There were holes. Inconsistencies. Pieces, giant boulder-sized pieces, missing. So I wrote what I had, kept trying to fill in spots, looking for ideas. But it was like a snipe hunt. Like I was chasing something that wasn’t really there.
Except it was. I’d just been looking in the wrong places. Bit by tiny bit, the story revealed itself. In its own sweet, excruciatingly slow time. If my Muse was a living creature, I’d rough her up for being so uncooperative. But she is also genius when she does appear, and for that I must be forgiving of her fickle nature.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working my way through the uncompleted chapters. And magically, the missing pieces have appeared. Instead of doubt and hesitation, I’m filled with confidence and excitement, driven by the promise of a story with unexpected turns, profound and poignant moments, characters as real and layered as the people I encounter daily.
The editor is booked. The preliminary cover is done. And I can’t wait to share it with the world.
Expect Say Something late Fall 2016. Next blog installment: the cover reveal!