I'm writing the first sequel to Whisper Falls. Its working title is A Whisper in Time, which I think the publisher will keep but you never know.
Contractually, I was given about nine months to write the first sequel. That sounded moderately terrifying although, of course, I did agree to the terms.
I am now a few short weeks away from the due date for the first draft. I had my writing schedule perfectly poised to meet that date, with two weeks allotted for a well-deserved break while my freelancer reviewed my new masterpiece. [This is a warning about the fragility of my ego, Miss Free Lancer.]
'The best-laid plans of mice and men...'
Last Saturday night, just about bedtime, I smiled with satisfaction as I saved off my manuscript. It was on track. I was happy. All was right with the world. I would check my email one more time before sleeping.
There was a brand new email in my inbox: Edits for Whisper Falls.
My husband saw the message and said, "Somebody is not going to sleep now."
He was so right. I was up until the wee hours of the morning reading through those edits. A week later, I'm still making my way through them. And that beautifully-arranged schedule for Sequel 1—totally mangled.
I'm blogging at the Ruby-slippered Sisterhood Tuesday. The topic is: making websites easy-to-use for disabled visitors. (By the way, if it's good for disabled users, it's good for everyone.) Feel free to drop by, absorb the information, or leave a question.
I'm blogging Tuesday at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood (a writing group I belong to). We'll be talking about readers with disabilities--which includes blindness, dyslexia, and amputations (can't turn pages!)
I have become an unapologetic user of people.
Everyone I meet becomes a potential source of information for my next book. No one is exempt.
Tom-the-personal-trainer offers me insights into the mindset of male athletes.
My physical therapist helps me figure out how to hurt people (and, not surprisingly, he is very good at that).
My nurse practitioner advises me on how long it takes for untreated wounds to become infected (when she's not taking care of me).
My cousin (who is studying to be an English professor) can now serve as my finger-on-the-pulse of academia.
All female acquaintances with teenage sons are now my new best friends.
Yesterday, I had brunch with a friend and two of her amazing kids. One will soon be a secondary English teacher (yay! another finger-on-the-pulse). The other is a male high school senior. Poor guy. I had a list of questions waiting for him. If he could have any classic car, which one? What types of sport teams are available in college? How much do teen soccer players know about knee injuries?
WARNING to all males 14-18: Avoid me if you don't like talking to earnest old ladies. I have an endless supply of things I want to understand about your world.
So, friends, I may be unapologetic about picking your brain, but I am also deeply grateful. It may be my mind assembling the puzzle pieces of the plot and my voice choosing the words, but it is your knowledge, experiences, and generosity that provide the building blocks.