Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Time To Get Serious About the Next Book

When I published Choices I hoped to get a lot of emails from readers telling me what they thought of the story. I've read reviews and I've heard from a few people, but I haven't recieved many emails. I've gotten some, though. The one I found in spam this week did my heart good, so I'm glad I always take the time to check that folder. This person loved my book and wants me to let her know when I'm finished with the next one. My nephew, who loves to read, is my biggest supporter and he has asked this question many times.
I have bits and pieces of the next book here and there. There are typewritten pages in a binder and handwritten chapters in two different composition books. I started the story some time last year. I was on a roll for a while there, but then it got to where I worked on it when the mood hit me. Well, now that I think of it, I did get out paper and pen at times when I wasn't really in the mood to write. Characters got to having discussions and scenerios just popped up, so I had to write what was in my head before I forgot what was going on. These are the chapters in the composition books, and let me tell you, my girl, Angel, is still a handful. Choices is so intense at times - domestic violence, an angry teen with a bat he does not plan to use on the baseball field, girls fightin' over a guy and, sadly, an acquaintance rape - that I really don't want a whole lot of drama in the next book, but Angel and Randy still have their issues so I just don't know what she might do. I responded to a reader's email a while back and told her that Angel might have to beat down Randy, and she probably could, but we'll see.
Okay, so back to the writing. One thing about publishing my own work is that I don't have to answer to anyone. Having someone else deal with the whole publishing process while I focus on writing would be nice, and gettin' paid would be great, but that's just not where I'm at right now. And to not have anyone telling me when to get what done - rushing the whole creative process - or having me make changes to my story that may not be in my heart to make, that's what I do like about publishing my own work. So, I'm free to move at my own pace. I've been thinking for a while now that it'd be nice to have the next book published this year, and I even mentioned to some that it might be, but I must confess I haven't been doing much to make that happen. Then last week I had to sit down for a moment and remind myself why I published Choices in the first place. God gave me a talent to write and I wanted to use it for His glory by putting a story out there that wouldn't only entertain but one He could use to bless young people, parents and whoever else reads my book. So since this is not about me at all, I guess I really need to stop messing around. Who knows what God will have me write in the next book that will help someone? All I know is that if I don't write it, they can't be blessed by it.
So I decided to get serious about this second book in the trilogy and give myself a deadline. I'm not a person to sit at the computer for hours and hours at a time, so a couple days ago I bought myself three composition books. I'm going to sit in my favorite spot in my living room or I might sit out on the porch when it's not too hot or maybe even go to the beach (don't do that much but I might) and I'm going to finish what I started. I know I'm going to have to go back to Choices to make sure there are no contradictions, because I seriously do not remember everything I wrote in my debut novel. I'll write the rest of the chapters long hand, then take myself to the computer, type it all and save it on a USB flash drive. I plan to let it sit for a few days, maybe even a week or two, and then I'll print it out and read it from page one to the end, making necessary changes.
Like I said before, I haven't heard from many readers, but for anyone who's interested, I really would like to have the next book released by December. That's another good thing about publishing my own work; it is possible to have a finished product by the end of the year.

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