Woot! Another book is in the can! I was a tad late on the delivery of the manuscript, but Harm’s Way, #15 in my Jonathan Grave thriller series is in the hands of my publisher. In the next few weeks, I’ll get the editorial letter, and I’m sure I’ll have to tweak a few things, but I am officially on to the next thing.
Because I tend to write down to the wire on deadlines, those last weeks closing in on the final sentence are face-on-fire marathons of 12-hour writing days. For Harm’s Way, I believe I wrote about 50,000 words in five weeks. The good news is, I got it done. The bad news is, I never should have allowed myself to fall so far behind.
The outstanding, unbelievable news is that I really like the end product. It is admittedly replete with typos–though I tried to find all of them–and there’s likely a lot of they’re/there/their-level mistakes, but that’s easy to fix in post. I’m confident that I have further solidified my reputation for being clueless about what commas actually do, and that I did my part to underwrite the “which” versus “that” mystery, but the story holds together. The dialogue snaps, the action sings. Yay me.
Now, here’s the problem: My brain is empty. I know there’s an idea for a new book out there somewhere beyond my grasp, but right now, all I see is the limits of my grasp.
This isn’t my first rodeo, so I’m confident that this brain seizure–like the 26 that have preceded it–will loosen its grip on my idea factory and allow me to go on yet another Great Pretend, but it’s always a bit discomfiting to realize that I literally don’t want to write again for a while. It’s as if my brain has been intellectually bruised and needs some time for the swelling to go down.
For most of my writing career, I have been committed to one book per year. For the past three years, however, I have been committed to two books per year (one Victoria Emerson book and one Jonathan Grave book). The fact that these expanded commitments coincided with multiple moves, family illnesses and a new puppy was nobody’s issue by mine. A commitment is a commitment.
But I’m never signing contracts for two books per year again. I do, however, expect to write more than one book per year. One of them, though, will be a spec book, sold to the highest bidder.
Brother Bell: Remember the Christmas book I told you about? (No spoilers allowed.) That’s my on-deck spec. I have a feeling that this is The One. I just have post-submission euphoria to die down. That said, it seems to me that this might be the perfect time of year to launch on the Christmas book.
TKZ family, do you look at the completion of a project as a prompt for a break, or a launching board for the next new thing?