I am in a transition period. The first book is done and finding its way along the bewildering road to publication. The next book is waiting to be written. As with every other step on this journey, these are firsts for me and I am learning as I go.
The Goal—Publishing A Smile for Anna.
What good is a book sitting in a metaphorical drawer? Or on an literal hard drive? This is a book that will make a difference in the lives of a lot of people. It’s also a book that could—given the right mix of hard work and dumb luck—find a wider audience. But it is a niché book, I know that, and that makes it a hard sell. So I have to keep plugging away with the goal of finding representation and/or a publisher by the end of this year, or pursuing independent publishing with the goal of releasing the book next year. Either way, it’s time to get it out there.
And what then?
The Nest Step—New Projects.
My blog is running at a good clip now. I’m posting regularly which has gotten me back into a regular writing rhythm after a difficult stretch. Now it’s time to start working on the next book. I have two projects in mind. I’m no sure if I’m ready to take on two projects at once—like everything else it’s a new thing for me.
A spiritual memoir. I’ve told my own faith journey already, and had the same basic story published twice. First, in a 500 word Open Door segment in Catholic Digest, and then a couple of years later in a 1200 word conversion story featured at Why I Am Catholic. Two published essays on the same topic tells me there is a market for my story. I can continue expanding the basic tale, adding more details until I potentially reach a book-length version. Along the way some sections might be worth publishing as well. I have the basic outline in my already published pieces. My plan from here is to sit down and write everything I remember as it comes to me, and then reorder them following the outline. I am also reading several spiritual memoirs to help me soak up the subgenre.
A chapter book series. Okay, this is new and very different for me, but over the last two years as both my wife and I have read numerous chapter books to my daughter I’ve been immersing myself in the genre and feel ready to tackle it. I have a main character (based on Anna—big surprise, I know) and a couple of tentative titles. I’m currently working out backstory to try and get my creativity flowing. This one make take longer to gel, but I think I’ve got a lot of great material to work on—Anna quotes, true-life stories, and a wide variety of ideas from several popular and well-written series.
I have other ideas beyond these two, but those will come later. I’m focusing on these two over the next year or so, and based on the lessons I learned writing my first book I expect to finish these more quickly. I spent my first five years learning on the go and it was a slow process. From here I can apply what I’ve learned, apply myself, and move forward at a faster pace.
That’s the plan anyway.