There is a thing that authors whisper about (but only around other published authors). A thing that, like so many things in life, no one tells you about until you find yourself right smack dab in the middle of it. The Second Book Blues.
And Internet? It’s terrifying.
See, after the hullabaloo that comes with selling your first book and joining the ranks of the published, sooner or later you have to sit down and right the next one.
In my case, it was sooner. My next deadline was in three short months. Three. Months. To write another book. From scratch. Now, granted, I wrote the first draft of the first book in less than a month, so this shouldn’t have been a problem.
But it was, Internet. It was.
I knew I wanted to write Jessie’s story (the best friend of my main character in book one). But Jessie and I could not agree on what that story should be. I’d plot something out and she’d roll her eyes. I’d try again and she’d make a face. I’d go back to the drawing board and she’d threaten to pack her bags.
She’s stubborn, my Jessie.
Thanks to her antics and a family tragedy, less than a third of the book was done on the day my manuscript was due (fortunately, I’d already talked to my editor and she gave me another month).
But at that point, I was done with her shenanigans. I stopped asking her what her story was and just started writing it. Spitfire that she is, she argued with me every step of the way, but we managed to work through it…right up until chapter eight.
When she saw how her story was supposed to end, she sat down, looked me in the eye, and said, “I would never do that.”
“But you have to. My deadline is too close to change course now.”
“I don’t care. You can’t make me do that. It’s asinine. I would laugh in his face if he tried that.”
I looked at her. Took a giant gulp of wine. Sighed. Then threw away the last three pages of my outline. She was right. I was going to have to write without a plan.
For the next little while, Jessie and I were joined at the hip. I wrote from the minute my eyes opened until the minute they closed (yes, I fell asleep typing). And in the end, I made it to The End.
I knew it should feel fabulous. After all, I had actually managed to write (and finish) my second novel. But I was just exhausted.
Still am, a bit. Also, terrified. Jessie is with my editor now. My editor could decide she hates it and tell me to start over. I am fairly confident that she won’t go that far (although I’m sure revisions are in my future).
So I won’t tell you what Jessie’s story is, just yet. I will tell you that I love it. And Nick? Her hero? Is delicious.
Stay tuned… Or, you know what? You could go order All’s Fair in Lust & War. It publishes on September 1, you know!