My latest Young Adult/New Adult science fiction novel, The Pools of Yarah, from Montag Press, has just been released. Publishing is a long process. It’s like waiting for Christmas, starting December 26th. You have rewrites, edits, more edits, cover art, more edits, review copy edits, and final publishing. A writer has usually moved ahead during this time, working on other novels. It is difficult to go back to that time frame, that character, each time to made the edits and keep it in character with the novel. Sometimes, it’s almost impossible.
Working on sequels offers the same challenges. I’m currently finishing a sequel to Oracle of Delphi, also from Montag. In the meantime, I’ve published five novels with a hundred different characters and five different plots. The Tad de Silva I knew grew up inside my head during that time, but I have to go back and regenerate the 17-year-old Tad a few weeks after Book I as if he had been asleep all that time. I know what changes he must go through, how he will develop and grow, but I can’t age him or make him wiser except in small steps. People don’t change overnight, or at least usually.
Being a writer means becoming each main character in your story, protagonists and antagonists. You must get inside their heads and make them live and
breathe for the reader. You must flesh them out using knowledge gleaned from your other characters; therefore, they are partly your creation and partly theirs. Placing yourself into some characters’ heads, especially really bad guys (or women), is scary. You wonder if you’re going to come out in one piece. That’s when it works for you and the reader.
Birthing a novel is like giving birth to a child, except the pain and anguish is all mental, not physical (And you don’t have to worry about them dating or wrecking the car). Once it’s in front of the public, you want to move on, but you can’t. Marketing takes a large chunk of most writers’ time. Some are good at it; some merely so-so. I admit it’s my weak point. I can sell a book face-to-face, but mass media marketing is a different animal altogether. I learn as I go. It’s probably not the best way. Kind of like learning to skydive as you go, but slightly less thrilling.
Like a young boy’s toys, at some point you have to put away your novels, trust your reading public, and move on.
Sniff. I’ll miss The Pools of Yarah. Oh, wait, I have a sequel in the works for that one too.