It happens. Your best-laid plans go awry. Life is full. Things don’t always go as you think they will. As you already know, it took much, MUCH longer for me to write the sequel to On the Buckle than I expected or could ever have imagined.
And somewhere along the way, the title, which I’d planned to be Wrong Lead, became Run Out. As the story unfolded, Run Out simply made more sense. You’ll understand when you read it. I’d also planned more books in the series, but following Run Out, there will be one more, and IT will be called Wrong Lead.
I think. Don’t hold me to it.
Why did it take so long? Simple. I shot myself in the foot. No, not literally, but figuratively. You see, after On the Buckle came out, it got popular. Which was awesome! But it made me pressure myself to get the sequel out as soon as possible. Because, you know, when you like a book, and it’s the start of a series, you want the next one. And the next one. I’m a reader, I get it.
I’m also a “pantster.” That means I write by the seat of my pants. I have a general idea of where the story’s going to go, but I let the writing,and characters, lead the way. It can lead to dead ends and “wasted” writing. (I don’t believe any writing is wasted, but that’s what some people say). In other words, lost time. I said to myself, “Self, you need to get your shit together and write this book fast. You’d better do some plotting.”
Oh. My. Goddess. It’s possible my critique group wanted to shoot me after I brought the sixth or seventh version of the first chapter for review. Finally, one of them asked, “Are you having fun writing this book? Because it doesn’t seem like it.”
She was so right. I was miserable trying to make the story fit the plot I’d worked out in advance. The characters were rebelling, Vi in particular. Life also became extra busy during this time as our daughter got into high school but still wasn’t driving. Her schedule became my schedule, and it was EXTREMELY full. And let’s face it, family always comes first. By the fall of that year–I believe it was 2014–I was about ready to give up. In a last-ditch effort to get it done, I joined NaNoWriMo and see if the pressure of that would get me to at least finish a first draft.
Nope. Within the first week, I fell behind the word count and threw in the towel. We were at a bookstore. I picked up a book. I started reading. By the end of November, I’d consumed about a dozen books and felt refreshed, like I’d been on sabbatical. I wanted to get back to writing, but was inspired to work on something else entirely. That’s where The Roar of Smoke came from.
More mistakes were made with the release of The Roar of Smoke in the spring of 2015. Suffice it to say I overdid it, got myself burned out. This was not just because of the book release and everything that led up to it. Sadly, my dog died right when the book was released, and I just couldn’t. Couldn’t muster any enthusiasm for anything. I didn’t write for a while. Off and on, I worked on the next Witting Woman novella, but that didn’t hold my interest either.
Eventually, I got back to Vi and Malcolm and everyone else at Winterlight, rediscovered the joy of writing–of being a pantster. I committed to attending Penned Con in St. Louis at the end of September. I knew I wanted a new book out before then. And now, Run Out will be available by the end of August–beginning of September at the latest.
Whew. Thought you’d want to know. Now you do. If you haven’t already, sign up for my newsletter to get your free reads. The August edition features an exclusive subscriber sneak peak of the first chapter of Run Out and my vision of Vi and Malcolm.
In the meantime, enjoy the ride!