This is kind of a state of affairs post and a lot of what I’m writing about this time has been covered in previous blogs so I’ll just touch on them today.
“White Wolf Moon” was written over many years because at the outset I had no thoughts of actually publishing a book. It is a collection of actual events in my life, conversations I’d had with co-workers when I was employed at a local bookshop, and just plain silly thoughts (mostly fictional) that popped into my head. A friend convinced me (by putting up the money) to self-publish my efforts and so I became a published author. While I still have trouble calling myself a published author I realize it’s simply fact and really, I am proud of the title. The point is that there was no pressure to write the first book.
There was pressure on the second (which, finally, has really started to come together) but I know I did it to myself. Along with the obvious “I had my whole life to gather materials for the first one and now I have a few months to write the second one” pressure, the readers of “White Wolf Moon” have inadvertently provided a little pressure of their own.
I have three pages of comments and suggestions from readers on what they’d like to see in a sequel and I made the mistake of trying to incorporate every suggestion. Suddenly I realized I wasn’t writing from the gut. I was giving one character a question that would result in another character replying with a response that covered off someone else’s idea. It all felt forced…unnatural. With “White Wolf Moon” I improvised most of the dialogue into my digital voice recorder and worked from there. After editing I felt it sounded more natural even if it wasn’t as grammatically correct as it should be. This dialogue (along with the characters themselves) has garnered most of the good comments. While I will attempt to give everyone what they want, it isn’t the focus now. Life isn’t laid out for us. It’s a series of moments and events that mostly have no plan…we have to accept and react to what happens. On a smaller scale if, for some reason, you’d like to know the name of Evan’s first serious girlfriend…unless it falls naturally into a conversation you might be disappointed (Irene, by the way). I’ve gone back to the way I wrote the first book and I’m letting the characters drive the dialogue and most, if not all of the questions and suggestions will be addressed.
Another pressure I put on myself was the need to be working on the sequel every minute. It’s always with me of course. I can be driving and see something that sparks an idea for an interesting situation or I might be digging in the garden and come up with a slightly bent and better take on some previously written material. I’m always thinking about it but I’m not necessarily at the laptop writing it. I took a me-day last week and drove my birthday present RC truck around the back yard for most of the day (along with yard clean-up while the batteries were recharging). That evening I looked at the computer and felt as though I hadn’t accomplished anything. I was actually quite angry with myself for wasting an entire day. The next morning I sat at the computer and started typing. I quickly realized that taking that day away was a good thing. I went back through said previously written material cleaning up and restructuring what I thought was good to begin with plus I wrote another 1800 words…all before lunch.
Along with all the above it seemed to me that “White Wolf Moon” had peaked. It goes in waves, this book selling thing, but this last wave seemed to stay offshore a lot longer than the others. While it has accomplished my primary goal which was to pay for itself, being human I now want more. Just when I was beginning to sadly accept that the ride was winding down along came a few more sales (and some suspected pirated copies which, in an oddball way, is kind of flattering) and a lot of really great comments (see previous blog). It’s amazing what a little ego-stroking will do for your attitude. I’m back on track and feeling really good about the way this is all coming together.
Spring is here. The wind is warm, the sun is bright, and yesterday the first Crocus said “hello”…