Robert Frost tells us he took the one less traveled by. The nice part about writing is you don’t have to choose one or the other; you can choose both.
While nearing the end of The Price of Glory, and networking with dozens of wonderful writers at HRR, I found myself pondering directions. I couldn’t seem to get a handle on the two sequels I originally envisioned for The Price of Glory, and I felt restless for something new.
I gave myself over a month to mull my options while I finished The Price of Glory and another commitment. I gathered every idea I ever had for genre or series—children’s stories, two different historical epics, three or more possible romance series, and some whatnot. I walked, prayed, meditated, and let it all stew. I searched for a direction forward.
What bubbled up to the surface in the end, a new Regency series, with a new cast of characters, set entirely in an English shire, centered around a coaching inn, enchanted me. Major characters began to chat with me. Settings appeared in my brain. I’ve plunged into character development; I brainstormed conflict and backstory with my friend and fellow writer Jude Knight; and I wrote down the opening scene that just kept playing in my mind. It looks like a 3-5 book series is possible.
To make room, I bailed out of a project I had tentatively planned to participate in that would have involved yet another set of characters to focus on my new series. Then, just as I saw the road in front of me clearly, the opening scene of The Value of Money—the long planned sequel to The Price of Glory—popped into my mind. There was Archie Mallet in trouble, the heroine lurking in the corner, and a solution to his dilemma in front of me. I didn’t expect it; I’d almost given up on it. But there you are. Inspiration comes when it comes. What is a writer to do? I can’t manage three or four novels at once, but I’m about to find out if I can juggle two series at once. It will be an interesting year. I will probably wait to submit either one until I have at least two books in each in draft. I pray my readers may be patient.
Now that Fire & Frost is skipping along in pre-sale, the Bluestocking Belles are in very early discussion about a collection of novellas for Christmas 2020 or Valentine’s Day 2021. Very early but it means I’ll have at least one novella to write. It is also likely I’ll give away another made-to-order story opportunity to celebrate the launch of Fire & Frost.
I’m packing up my laptop, my notebook, and my pens because I’m off on an actual road trip today. I may not get 1000 words a day done while visiting relatives, but I will be scribbling down ideas, bits of dialog, and details. I’ll be back in two weeks.
Unlike writing, driving gives me only one road west. The car is packed. But first, coffee.