The room inside my head is crowded. And I mean crowded. I love it, don't get me wrong. But just like in the subway or grocery store, I can't control who talks to me. I've heard of writers that sit down every day and 'decide' what to write. I don't work like that. Or rather, I can't work like that. I've tried. I sit down and say, "I'm going to finish the scene where Ava drops a bombshell on everyone in the barn today." And I sit. And I stare. And Ava is stubborn and won't talk. Nothing gets done.
"Okay, fine," I hiss and scroll down a bit in the file. I'm going to work on Arianna and Claire going to the Massachusetts Asylum for Feeble Minds and Lunatics where they will meet David and get some back story on Elizabeth.
Well, Claire is staring at a tree, designing a painting in her mind and Arianna is filing her nails refusing to look at me. Neither one wants to work today. Neither one understands deadlines, priorities or the fact that people are waiting on them.
So you can imagine the sinking feeling when I receive emails and messages asking "when the next book will be out." And I have no real answer because I don't know when Arianna will be finished preening or when Claire will snap back to reality and join us. I'd like to think I have control over that. After all, I'm the living breathing writer in control of reality. They are just imaginary friends who should simply do what they are told, right? Oh, no.
While the room inside my head is chock full of characters I have created, I can't control who talks to me and when. Which is why I've been known to work on several books at a time. I am able to "book hop" and make progress on something while not missing anything anyone decides to start chattering about. It's chaotic but it sure as hell beats writers block.
The other source of frustration is that I don't always feel like I can be completely honest with readers, which is why I am doing this post. Most people think I am working on the next book and only the next book. I need to clear a few things up so you better understand me. I'd like to be able to share with you all of what I'm doing because it is tremendous fun. However, when I have ventured there in the past I've received emails and comments such as, "But your SUPPOSED to be working on XX." Well, yes, technically XX is the next book in line to be completed. But that doesn't mean that I'm not working on a host of other things at the same time. Things you are missing out on and might even get excited about, if you knew about them. So I'm going to tell you what's going on.
While Purgatory Cove is the next book due out in the series, I am also working on 1931 and a new one that has been bugging me for over a year. (Sayan Knights) I've shushed the characters, asked them politely to wait, yelled at them to wait and until recently, they obliged, popping up now and again just enough to keep the story line fresh in my mind. Until two nights ago, that is. Nicholi from Sayan Knights stood front and center and simply would not shut up. He drowned out all the other characters and I thought it was pretty good so I grabbed my notebook and got it all down. I ended up writing (by hand, oddly enough) 18 pages front and back of what he had to say. And he isn't quite finished. He prefers evenings to talk so I'm thankful for that and I hope to get the rest of what he has to say out tonight so I can go back to Purgatory Cove tomorrow. Of course that's my planning and I have no idea if Elizabeth will cooperate.
Just know this. I am always working on more than one thing at a time. Always. While I was posting progress on 1930 on facebook, I secretly had Drifter in the works as well as Wordbound, (which may never see the kindle light of day) and the long summaries and scene breakdowns for two other books.
While readers feel I am "supposed" to be working on the next book in line and only that book, I don't see things that way. I am "supposed" to be working on whatever project that has characters willing to talk. That's my job. The books will be released in the order promised, have no fear. And while some might argue that working on other books delays the release of what's due next, I disagree. Because I'm working every day with whomever is talking. And if I spend time on Sayan Knights because Elizabeth isn't talking, well, I wouldn't be making much progress on Purgatory Cove, now would I? I am driven to be productive and to sit and argue with stubborn characters is a frustrating time waster.
I am looking forward to sharing bits of everything I have in the works because the readers I have gotten to know personally on Facebook are some of the the best people I've ever met. I have started a Wattpad account and plan on sharing a lot of my other projects there as well as flash fiction and testing new novel ideas and just plain messing around. I am hoping to transfer everything I have down from Nicholi onto the Wattpad account in time for the second newsletter this month. If you haven't signed up to receive the newsletter you can do so here. You can find the Wattpad account here.
Hopefully this blog post will clear up how I work and will decrease the amount of "But you're supposed to be working on..." emails and messages. I look forward to sharing many exciting projects with you. And as always, thank you for reading!!