My manuscript is currently with the editor (biting nails). I am simultaneously excited and petrified. There is a great feeling of relief to know that my book is in the hands of a professional. It’s being polished and perfected. But I know that there are long nights of editing ahead for me. I have to face the changes. I have NO idea what the editor will say, like, dislike, cut, add… It’s really a totally new experience for me.
In the mean time I have started a new WIP. It’s not a sequel to Fire of the Sea. That’s not to say there won’t be a sequel. I definitely have ideas for a second or third if I wanted to go there. But I really wanted to go in a totally different direction for my second attempt at YA. So I’ve taken on a little dystopian fantasy, and I am seeing where it leads me. So far, I am loving it. But I know as soon as my mermaid, Aeva, comes back from the editor, I’ll be spending a lot of my time in the North Atlantic once again. And that’s a place I love to be.
It’s interesting what drives the need to start a new project. Sometimes it is literally a spark, or one single catalyst. But other times it’s a series of (sometimes unfortunate) events. With Fire of the Sea, I had been under a lot of personal stress around the time I really dug in and started writing. The idea had been taking shape for about a year when I started to have some new and really tricky health issues. I was facing a summer of major dietary changes, lab tests, and medical procedures. I felt like staying in bed all day. I was slipping under. So I turned to my notes that I’d been collecting in the “writing” folder on my laptop and decided I would much rather spend my time someplace cool, dark, and fantastical, as opposed to too hot, too bright, distressing, and confusing (which was what that California summer unfortunately was shaping up to be).
I found that when I was writing, it flowed easily out of me. It felt comfortable and familiar. But I think my very favorite thing about taking on my first (and admittedly formidable) fantasy novel, was that even with a detailed outline, I was surprised by the story at every turn. I knew the ending. I knew the whole love story. I knew my protagonist’s journey. But every time I would enter Aeva’s world, there was something new and unexpected waiting for me. It was even better than reading a book for the first time. I couldn’t wait to get back to the story. It literally got me through that awful summer.
I eventually came away from that difficult phase of my life with some answers regarding my health. Not ALL the answers. (I still struggle daily.) But I now had the ability to eat again, function, feel well enough to re-enter the world. And that was about the time my novel was also ready to enter the “real world.”
I have no idea how long it will take me to finish my new WIP. I have a different approach this time, with beta readers following my writing progress from an earlier stage. Totally opposite of how I worked with Fire of the Sea. And while each project is different, one thing stays the same: my fantasy world still waits for me, even when I have walked away for a day, week, month. It pulls at me, calling me back in. And that feeling keeps me writing!