While writers the world over struggle to craft truly original stories, theorists spend their time identifying ways in which they are actually all the same. Joseph Campbell famously reduced the number of stories to just one: The Hero’s Journey, as outlined in his influential 1949 work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. In more recent […]
‘Tis the season for celebrating decorative gourds, sugar, changing seasons, and, of course, monsters. Wear all the punny Halloween costumes you like, but at the end of the day, Halloween is all about turning the ordinary into the monstrous. And many…
I’m at a weird point here in the final stages of 2016. I plan on sending the final book of The Firebird Trilogy to my publisher in November, and then…I have no idea what’s next.
Well, I do, sort of (and the next book will involve seeking an agent as well), but not in the sense I’ve had for the past two years, which is “You’re going to write the next book in the trilogy as soon as you’re done with this one.” I mean, I’ve taken time to write a short story or novella here and there, but I always knew exactly what the next big project was. For someone more comfortable with shorter fiction to have even written an entire trilogy–close to 233,000 words of it, before the third book gets one more go-round–is a feat in itself; to have done it in a genre that until two years ago was so far beyond my comfort zone I swore I’d never write in it is an accomplishment I’ll always be proud of.
But it leaves me in a bit of a sad spot, too. I can’t say I’ve ever felt quite like this in the eighteen years I’ve been in this business. It’s post-book depression, except I’m the writer instead of the reader. I’m saying goodbye to characters who feel like old friends. Alex in particular, who is easily my favorite character I’ve ever created, does not go quietly. He’s whispered about a spin-off novel, a prequel novella, and so on. On the other hand, this being my last contracted novel at the moment, I have the chance to work on a couple of pet projects, as well as finish up some things that have been on the back burner. And it’s been a pretty good year for me, with a novel, six short stories (so far), and two novellas published by the end of the year.
Right now, I’m working on two short stories for anthologies, and in the pipeline for next year I have a m/m shifter novella, a weird/cosmic horror novel that is a sort-of sequel to Those of My Kind, an ergodic steampunk novella, an urban fantasy/paranormal romance, and a superhero novel. I’m even tinkering with the idea of self-publishing a collection of my fairy tale retellings, fully revised and including a couple never before published. So it’s not that I don’t have plenty to work on; it’s choosing the one that will start to fill the hole left behind. And to be honest, I’m pretty excited about all of these things.
What project are you most curious about? Drop me a line in the comments–or, if you’re in the Philly area, come see me at Unmask the Romance on October 1, or Indie Author Day on October 8. I’d love to chat!
Like many if not most writers, I have a book addiction. Rare is the day I can walk into a bookstore and walk out empty-handed. I’ve bought twenty in the last three weeks alone (OK–three of those were for my husband and one purchase was a five-book set). As I mentioned in my previous post, my office doubles as a library because I so love being surrounded by books.
I started off the week by finishing Michael Lesy’s Wisconsin Death Trip. I love non-fiction; this book, a chronicle of Midwestern life’s brutal reality at the turn of the century and told through newspaper clippings and photos, is a treasure trove of mini-horror stories.
I followed up by reading Clive Barker‘s The Hellbound Heart which is, of course, the basis for Hellraiser. Clive Barker has been one of my biggest influences since I first read The Books of Blood as a teenager, and I always enjoy returning to the writers who inspired me to become one myself.
Having completed that, I decided finally to commit to a series I’ve been wanting to read for quite some time now: J. R. Ward‘s Black Dagger Brotherhood. Thus I am currently reading Dark Lover which, a quarter of the way in, is already making me eager to tackle the rest of the series. (I’ve also got a paranormal romance on tap for next year, so this counts as research!)
What are you reading?