I figure it was about time I should post something that has to do with my writing since I post more blogs about other stuff. Not that I think it’s a bad thing I do that since I like to show fellow writers, readers and people in general I have a life, other interests and don’t spend my days/nights hidden away at my writers cave with a cigarette in my mouth.
Last week while I was in Florida on vacation I got a fair amount of writing done. I worked allot on my second novel All the Roads Home and I am pretty thrilled so far. I will admit the sophomore novel jinx has been hitting me hard but I have no desire to be a one and done author so I am pushing through. Since first publishing Running Northwest in 2012 and after all the drama that ensued I learned a few things along the way. I would be lying if I said I haven’t actually learned a few things from my writing classes at GVSU and the ones taken online. Writers have, what some call their writers “toolbox” and mine is growing…as it should. I am trying to remember the lessons (good and bad) learned both during and since writing my first novel. So this next one will be as my editor Casie says, “Just as good if not better than the first”. One can hope.
Learning from My Mistakes
I was working away in the warmth of the Florida night sitting in a comfy chair and surrounded by the sounds of the evening while Stacey was sleeping soundly I decided to delete 2 whole chapters. Of course I saved them this time. While writing Running Northwest I made the mistake of deleting several chapters by accident some of which I liked and I almost cried over. Rewriting them was depressing and I am still convinced the originals were better. All those arcane writers who still write out their first drafts by hand in notebooks will find this amusing. At any rate I cut, pasted and saved and rewrote these 2 chapters. I am content for the moment with them. I am attempting to be a little less wordy with All the Roads Home. I was accused a few times of being overly descriptive with Running Northwest and overwriting and maybe I did. Do I feel bad? Never. Someone once used the word concise about my writing and I slapped them. Take your literary fiction elitism and bugger off.
This next book isn’t as much love story as it is a story about personal growth, feeling reborn and remembering what it feels like to live and love many aspects of life. It’s about a family and what binds them together and a past that changed them. It’s about a man looking for meaning and fixing himself after being broken. Themes from Running Northwest will bleed into All the Roads Home. Subjects which are near and dear to my heart will be talked about and a few characters familiar to my current readers will be brought in briefly. I am world building in a world I know pretty well…so maybe that’s world changing I suppose.
Oh the Possibilities for Oregon
I would be lying if I said the idea of series wasn’t in the back of my mind. It never occurred to me to write a series when I began writing Running Northwest. Hell, the idea of publishing it wasn’t even in my mind. Now however, as I work on All the Roads Home the possibility of that isn’t an unfathomable one. I’ve read many blogs and pieces of marketing for authors which suggest that writing a series is the way to go since it helps you get noticed more. I don’t want to write a series because they might market well and it is what’s popular in book selling especially since I’ve seen many that are not selling well. If I write a series I want it to be because it grew organically in my mind and heart and sometimes I wonder if that is what is going on. As I write this new novel ideas for other characters and stories in and around the coast of Oregon come to my mind. Some I jot down and some I dismiss as nutty and lame. I think of Nicholas Sparks, a hero of mine as far as male authors are concerned. Many of his novels take place in and around the North Carolina coast. They are not series or at least marketed that way but they are part of a world that he put on paper which came from his mind. He created a comfortable and familiar place for himself as an author and for his readers. It feels real to both of them and I am kind of feeling that way also about what’s in my head and imagination.
So, when it comes to All the Roads Home I am about 65% of the way done but the writing is coming slow because I don’t use an outline and got distracted easily lately. Don’t bother telling me I should use an outline because I won’t. I can’t write with constraints like that. I am trying to buckle down though and at least write the book for an hour a day (more if I can).
The 29th of this month (March) will be the 3rd anniversary of the first publishing of Running Northwest and since the 4th and FINAL edition (YES I mean it this time) was just released a week ago. It is availble now on Amazon.com. I will be running a sale and a promotion. So keep an eye out and more info will be coming soon.
-All the best,