Tuesday, September 3, 2013

the road to book 2

I am having a moment.

Later this morning, I will be sweating over my laptop, stressing about new words in a new manuscript. This afternoon, I will be hosing off my car after a very muddy trip to the mountains. And tonight, I will be cleaning up a scrapbooking mess I made in the living room.

But right now... right this second... I am having a moment -- a good one. I have the day off work, and I'm starting it off on the back patio watching the sun shine on the yard and drinking a cup of coffee (iced. This is Arizona after all. It's only 8:30am, and my temperature gauge already reads 90 degrees.)
This sunny caffeinated moment is how I am celebrating the launch of my second book, DEAD ENDS. (out today!)

I remember, after selling BUTTER, thinking the 2 year wait to publication would feel like a lifetime. In hindsight, it went by in a flash. But that flash was nothing compared to how fast it seems DEAD ENDS was published. We sold this book in the spring of 2012, so it's been a little under 18 months from sale to pub. For all but 1 of those 18 months, I was also planning my wedding, so I had very little time to obsess about this launch the way I did the first time around.
In fact, this quiet moment right now may be the very first time I've actually reflected on the road to book 2 at all.

I wrote the first draft of DEAD ENDS the month after we sold BUTTER, in part to keep myself from clicking on my email inbox every two seconds. *Best advice ever, by the way! There is a lot of waiting around on the path to publishing. Use that down time to write something new! Once edit letters and blog requests and cover comps start rolling in, you may find your writing time is being eaten away!

After my speed-drafting, I sent the manuscript (then-titled Billy D. & the Bully) off to one of my crit partners, who told me what I already suspected - I had a good start, some great characters... and not much plot.
So I spent the next 9 months or so rearranging, revising and rewriting. By the end of the year, with more help from crit partners, I had something worth submitting.
It was another few months before we sold it, and then I hit a wall of "now what?"

See, the first time around, every moment is a milestone.
book sale? champagne dinner out on the town!
cover reveal? splatter the internet!
launch party? everyone you know is coming!

It's a two-year-long party to celebrate a dream come true. But if book 1 is the dream, what is book 2?
It took me some time to figure out BUTTER wasn't the end of a journey but the start of a new one. And DEAD ENDS is the first step down that new path - a path that forks off in many directions, like a "choose your own adventure" book.
Do you want to write full time?
Do you want to explore a new genre?
Do you dream of longevity as an author?

It's a path of nothing but possibility, and it's a little intimidating, because once your biggest dream comes true... do you dare dream bigger?

For today, my dream is this: that readers who pick up DEAD ENDS will meet Dane, Billy D. and Seely... share their journey... and find something to love.