Lately I’ve been pretty focused on the subject of sequels. I remembered a few years ago before I started college I got e-mail from my publisher stating that my sequel for Ancestral Magic (currently named Shadow Magic), didn’t have enough back story. Now I admit, as a woman who enjoys a good fantasy or paranormal book series, nothing irritates me more than feeling like a previous book is being retold in the following one. Fortunately, for my sake and that of my readers would’ve been politely nudging me for the sequel, I finally got over the creative speedbump and now Shadow Magic due out early next spring.
Lately I have been working away on my newest project, National Rebirth, the sequel to my novel that is coming out in a few days, Natural Order. It’s crazy hard. It’s been so long since I wrote the first one, I had to really reacquaint myself with the story, and the little details. Timeline was a huge one. The characters, those seem to always remain with me, but setting, dates, even name sometimes, those can be tricky. I found the easiest thing was to become a scholar of the first book, before I even started working on the second. While I have enough back story this time with all slowing the pace? Who knows. But I now have a better respect for the authors I used to be irritated with as I waited for the sequels and continuing sagas of their work.
So for my readers who have enjoyed getting to know the wonderful folks in the community of Green Grove, and who are waiting patiently to revisit there, I invite you to come and get to know the Archiquette family and their newest daughter, Elizabeth.
Here’s a sample of that community from soon to be released novel, Natural Order.
Once again I got the increasingly common question from a white writer about how to write non-white characters (in this particular case how to write Native American characters) without getting it wrong and offending someone. Here are some thoughts on this that I hope might help with folks that have similar queries.
I’ve got about eleven chapters in the rough draft stage for Natural Rebirth so far, and now I’m going over each one to do some initial cleanup. This means every so often I run across a note I made for myself on a creative speedbump that I didn’t want to let slow down the creative process. While I do the editing, it also gives me time to think about how to address these notes. A lot of them is a name I need to find for a character, or a minor bit of research that needs to be done. Right now the speedbump I’m dealing with is the name of a farmer of a family friend of the Archiquettes that Beth is being taken to for a visit. The farm needs a name.
This is been a rough couple of days this is been a rough couple of days. As I mentioned earlier this week I went to grab my map of the farm during a break from the Fae research I was doing, and come to find out the map is missing. It originally took me several weeks to that map. In about two days, with lots of hours invested scrolling through Natural Order to check location of buildings and landmarks to keep consistency, I have the overall map for the farm.
Sometimes when are working on a project, or preparing to start a project, you come across those all annoying speedups. It could be a lost file, forgotten resource, any number of things that bring what you had planned on working on to a screeching halt. I know some people what across the speed bumps and give up on the project. I would not be one of those people. I have a rather strong stubborn streak, a passion for problem-solving, and a general need to fix shit when it goes wrong.
Don’t know if this is going to be a regular Tuesday subject or just something I talk about when the mood strikes me, but I thought as I’m working on a current project I could talk about what I do to prepare. I guess it’s not fully always in the creative or tech end of things, but just the things I need to do to get my brain to prepare for writing. Like right now I’m getting ready to work on revisions on the sequel to Natural Order, so I’m not exactly starting from the beginning but it’s been long enough since I worked on the project because of too many reasons to go into, then I’m looking at doing some heavy rewrites and reorganization of what I’ve written so far.