I always find it hard to return to writing after a break. This current break has been one of my longest. It began before Christmas and continued through the holidays, a one-month winter vacation, the release of Deadly Fall, my book promotion blitz, two shorter spring and summer trips and visits by relatives. During this time, all I’ve written are blog posts and a few novel chapters that didn’t work. Now it’s time to ease my way back into the saddle and write the sequel to Deadly Fall.
I had thought the sequel was almost a slam dunk. My publisher was interested in continuing the series. Before Deadly Fall was accepted, I wrote a sequel Secret Spring, revised it and gave it to four friends who had read and enjoyed Deadly Fall. All of them thought Secret Spring was a better book. I polished up the manuscript and sent it to my publisher. To my surprise, she and and my editor had problems with it.
Their arguments convinced me they might be right. I struggled to come up with solutions and took a stab at re-writing Secret Spring. At first, I liked what was happening with the story and especially enjoyed getting back into writing after the long gap. But in Chapter Four, I ran into plot glitches. The new Spring started to feel a bit flat. I had doubts that my changes would fully address my publisher’s and editor’s issues and worried they would reject the manuscript again, after all that work, and I’d be even further behind.
I decided it was too soon to re-write Secret Spring, but with more brewing the story might work down the road. Meanwhile, my publisher had read my draft of the first half of a third series book and liked it. They suggested I write that story as book two. When I return to writing in early August, this will be my writing project.
The new book two – working title Ten Days in Summer – takes place during the Calgary Stampede. I’ll re-set it a year before the action in the original draft, so that it fits between Deadly Fall and Secret Spring. My protagonist, Paula, will go through the developments in her personal life that happened off-stage between those two books. Among other things, she’s renovating and expanding her bungalow in Ramsay to make space for herself and a man.
Other characters develop and enter the series. Paula’s mother visits from Montreal and faces decisions in her own life. Paula’s daughter considers changes to her love life and work. The suspects come onto the scene and stir up mischief.
I hope, as August rolls around, I’ll get excited about this book and find myself so back into writing that I won’t want to leave it for the next break.