The New Year is always the best time to get a “big picture” of what next to write and where all my series are at or will be going. I use this timeline to schedule my editors, arrange book covers and advertisments, and also to keep my writing schedule on track. I’m so much more motivated if I know what’s next in line and especially if it’s a book I’m highly interested in working on. Right off, this year, I’ll be releasing two books from two different series on February 27 and 28th. They are both in various stages of editing, so I’ll have those to review the next month.
River’s Lost (River’s End Series)- February 27th– On Pre-order now.
In between reviewing and making edits of these two books I have just started writing Emily which will finish out the Daughters Series. I have all kinds of ideas where this book is going and I can’t wait to dig into it and find out if I can make it all happen. Honestly, each book feels like a brand new experience and this apprehension fills me each time: can I pull this story line off? Even as this is the 26th book I’m starting, it feels as exciting as the first.
Once Emily wraps up, I’ll be done with the Daughters Series and exit the Hendricks family who are the basis of six books: The Other Sister, The Years Between, Christina, Natalie, Melissa and Emily. I have a huge soft spot for this family as I’ve spent so much time working with them and from various angles. Their stories take place over the course of 40 years, from the start of The Other Sister to the end of Emily. There’s a suspension of reality in the timeline as The Other Sister took place in 2004, because Will Hendricks served in the war in Afghanistan and so I had to set this book around that time period. From there I eventually explored the lives of their daughters, and they had to age to make that happen. I feel like these four are my own daughters as I’ve spent so much time thinking about their lives, their connection to their parents, and each other.
Emily – Daughters #4
Once I finish the Daughters I will bounce back to The Sister Series and finish the last of this series: Book #8 The Lost Sister and then Book #9 The Step Sister. I believe (as of now) the series will then be complete… but there is a chance… I have one last sister I might, maybe, sort of, think about writing a book about. But I haven’t totally made up my mind…
This is what my brain does and how I end up with series that are supposed to be 2 or 3 books long and instead turn into 10 book series. The further I get into a series, the more characters I’m introduced to and these characters often catch my interest and then my imagination feels like it catches fire… and then more stories burn through me to be told.
Kind of like what has happened with River’s End. I’m down to the last advertised book in that series to write about… but, well, I had to add 3 more books to it. HAD TO. They were driving me nuts, begging for their stories to be told. So what can an author do but listen to these voices in her head?! I have the covers ready and I’m working on their blurbs, so stay tuned into the start of this year for more details about what I’ll be adding to River’s End. Just a hint I’ll be delving into Caleb’s life (Kailynn’s brother) and Hailey’s two kids, Brianna and Jacob.
And I digressed… so after the two Sister Books I plan to get back to River’s End and finish this series… all 4 books back to back. This far into a series, it goes so much quicker to write them continuously because all the people and places and events and the timelines are so fresh in my mind, it feels like I merely step further into it all with each book.
This should all eat up the next year… and after that?
Oh the ideas I have!
I’ve already started on some new books and projects. I have some covers already… they are far out in my future, but this is how books and series start with me. They percolate for months or even years so that by the time I physically sit down to write the stories I’ve had them run through my head like scenes from a movie, and I then get the pleasure of putting them all together into a book. This too, is how I can write so many books a year. The more I am writing, the more it fuels my imagination and the faster and more complete the books are “inside” my head. By the time I write them, they feel almost done to me, even though they aren’t put into words yet.
I don’t write so many books to meet some kind of quota or because I feel I have to. No! The opposite! Doing this, writing all these books and series is my absolute DREAM COME TRUE! I pinch myself to have the pleasure to do this as a career. At any given time I have up to 10 books in my mind’s eye. And I as soon as I finish one, I can’t wait to get to delve into the next. I usually finish the first draft on a book, and then let it ‘sit’ for a few days before I start the editing process. In the mean time… you guessed it, I start my next book.
I don’t take a lot of time to celebrate “the end’, because to me, the celebration is getting to move onto another story! And I hope I never lose this enthusiasm for my ‘next book’ and the satisfaction and enthusiasm I feel to be writing each and every novel I create and in all stages of the process.