For the past year–an ENTIRE year–Candace has been working on the second Dream Horse Mystery novel — Wrong Lead — starring me, Vi Parker. This is a LONG time for her to be writing one book. She restarted it several times, taking no less than SIX versions of chapter one to critique before being convinced my next story started in the right place.
More chapters followed, but something was missing, because usually, me and the horses and my friends make a lot of noise in Candace’s head, demanding to have our conversations and experiences written. It’s just a matter of making her sit her butt down long enough to do it. And I don’t mean on a saddle. I mean at the desk, fingers on the keyboard.
Not so with this book.
God almighty, she thought up some crap to pile on my head. As if the whole Norman-in-the-manure-spreader-and-psycho-neighbor-thing in On the Buckle wasn’t enough? Can’t I catch a break for a change?
I tried to tell her, but she wouldn’t listen. Jesus. She’s more stubborn than me sometimes. And that’s saying something! So, I got really pissed and went all sullen on her. That got her attention. She changed some scenes and took some out, you know, writer stuff.
But it wasn’t enough. Still, she kept writing, because that’s how she is. She’s fond of saying the answer is in the writing… But the joy wasn’t in the writing — for either of us. Maybe she needed some whipped cream. That always helps.
Anyway, come November, she decided to sign up for NaNoWriMo to finish at least the first draft of Wrong Lead — come hell or high water. Frankly, I thought she needed to take a break–just like me.
Then…life happened. For different reasons, Candace lost two entire weekends in November — a LOT of writing time. Then, she picked up a book that looked interesting (it wasn’t about me — how interesting could it be?) She stopped trying to write my story (finally!) and read that book and its sequel within a few days. By the end of the month, she had curled up on her couch and snuggled under the covers to consume 12 yummy novels, something she hadn’t done in a long time.
After that, she decided to let me rest and started writing something else she’d been thinking about. And that’s okay because the new story is really awesome. She had to get that out of her system. The bottom line? We both needed a break.
But then something cool happened. After she wrote a few chapters of the new thing, I crept back into her head and didn’t leave her alone. This time, she listened. I even made her get out of bed one night to make notes about how Wrong Lead is really supposed to go. Yeah, I’m like that.
I don’t pretend to understand the whole creative process. Horses, I get. Storytelling, that’s not my thing. But I do know this: Candace wants the story to be right. Getting it done fast at the expense of us characters isn’t her style. That’s something I do understand. You can’t make a horse learn any faster than he’s ready to, either.
All you readers out there, I really appreciate your hanging in there and waiting for Wrong Lead. Look for it in 2015, and check back every now and then for updates. In the meantime, sign up for Candace’s newsletter to be sure and get the latest news. She sends them out quarterly.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and happy riding!
See you in 2015.