One strategy I don’t share in this business is the need to pump out books like clockwork. If you can do it well, then good on you! I both admire and envy you. But I can’t. Sometimes a book just falls out of me, but more often than not it’s a struggle. Books can be like a stubborn child at bedtime: anything but cooperative. And in those instances, it’s real hard to commit to a schedule.
My second novel, Under the Blade, took a year longer than expected because I couldn’t get the story right. I fumbled around in the dark alongside my protagonist, searching for answers same as she. And I’m glad I gave myself the extra time. Rather than deliver a so-so manuscript to my publisher, I tore at that story until everything clicked into place. I’m quite proud of that book to this day, and it’s still the novel my readers seem to enjoy the best.
This is all just a really long-winded way of saying that I have new stuff coming. Soon-ish. There’s a lit crit piece later this summer that’s part of a collection I’m truly honored to be a part of. And my newest short story will appear in a really fun upcoming anthology collection–more on both soon.
There’s also novels. Plural. When you’ll be able to get your hands on them is anyone’s guess, but they’re coming. One manuscript dates back to 2015, and it’s my most ambitious book to date. So ambitious that I wound up shoving it into a digital drawer for two years to let it marinate. I think I’ve cultivated my skills over the last two and a half years to the point where I’m ready to dust it off and sew it up. I wouldn’t say it’s just around the corner, but it’s coming.
I’m also putting the finishing touches on another novel right now. And I’ll be honest, I’m both excited and terrified by the idea of putting it into the world. I’m not trying to sell a line of marketing crap about how this is the most terrifying thing, EVAH, but it’s a personal project I hope people dig. Like Under the Blade, I didn’t anticipate it taking this long, but I hope the extra time I’m putting into it will be worth it.
One of the downsides of writing at this level is that you’re always trying to prove yourself–at least to yourself. But if you don’t have another book on the horizon, almost always, people tend to believe you’ve up and quit. I haven’t quit, but since I’m going beyond a calendar year without anything new, it felt like a good time to let people know there’s more coming.