State of the Author

Want a peek into the wackiness of author brain? Okay, first of all, here are the things I’m working on right now:

  • The Snow Queen’s Shadow — 42,000 words into the second draft
  • Synopses for three books in a new series — I have some rough ideas for book one, and tentative titles for all three
  • Article for the SFWA Handbook — need to review and finalize that one

Compared to many of my author friends, it’s a modest list.  But it’s enough to keep me busy.  Now guess which one of these projects my brain is stuck on.  Go ahead, guess.

What I really want to work on right now … is a fake book review blog, authored by the protagonist of the unsold new series.


That’s right, my brain is stuck on the idea of posting extra “goodies” material for a character from a series that 1. I haven’t sold yet and 2. won’t appear until at least 2012 even when and if I do.  It would be one thing if I was obsessing over the synopses, which I could at least get to my agent so we could try to sell the silly thing.  But the protagonist’s blog?  Really, brain?  (I have the coolest title for the blog, too!)

I’ve also been obsessing about progress on Snow Queen.  When we negotiated the contract, I asked for 14 months to write this one, which means my deadline isn’t until October 1.  But I look back and realize I’ve been working on this book for eight months, and I’m a long, long way from being done.  Given that I usually do three or four complete drafts, am I going to have time to get this one right?  I’m wrapping up a series — this book has to be as good as I can make it.

It’s helped somewhat to remind myself that this is normal.  I looked through last year’s blog posts and realized I didn’t even finish the first draft of Red Hood’s Revenge [B&N | Mysterious Galaxy | Amazon] until March 23.  I finished draft two on June 8.  I still rewrote it again and turned everything in by August 15, and even though I got frustrated and discouraged at times, I think Red Hood ended up being a damn good book.

It doesn’t make the stress go away.  It doesn’t erase the fear that maybe this book won’t be as good as the last one, or that maybe I’m not a good enough writer to tell this story.  But it does help to recognize that I’ve been here before.  This is an unpleasant place to be, but it’s familiar, and I know I’ve gotten through it.  Which suggests I can probably get through it again.

Even if I’d rather be doing site design for a book review blog.