So the first book of my…

So the first book of my fantasy trilogy is out in the world, sitting on editors' desks, waiting to be read. My agent says it may be a while before we get a response; that YA editors are just swamped right now. Could easily be a few months. Which doesn't surprise me. But it does make me crazy.

They say the thing to do when you're waiting for a response on your book is to start writing the next book. Which is fine, and makes sense, and now that I've had a few weeks of not writing, I think I need to start again. Among other things, I've been getting into a really foul mood by 5-ish most days this past week, and having to work hard not to snap at Kevin or the kids, and I think it's because my days are entirely taken up by housework and renovation and teaching (plus prep / grading), with some small breaks for reading other peoples' books.

Reading other people's books is relaxing, but also frustrating, because if they're bad books I wonder why they got published, and if they're good books, I wonder if I could write something that good. In either case, the cure for frustration is pretty clearly doing my own writing, rather than just fretting about it.

But I've run into a small dilemma, in that it feels sort of potentially futile to start working on book two of a trilogy when I'm not sure if book one will be published. If no one wants to publish book one, then book two is just doomed. Unless I want to try to self-publish, which I might, but honestly, that's a lot of extra time and energy and effort, for likely not a lot of reward, and it feels sort of silly to invest a lot of time into that right now. When I could, alternatively, start writing a completely different stand-alone novel. Something that wouldn't be continent on the success of book one of a trilogy. Probably something aimed at adults, more mainstream literary.

Ugh. I'm just not sure which project makes more sense. Probably I'll end up writing book two, if only because I have some urgency to finish writing that story regardless of publication chances, and I know exactly where I want to go with it in books two or three. And I only have the vaguest idea of what other stand-alone books I might want to write. I'm not ready to go back to working on the memoir / travelogue. But maybe I should develop a stand-alone book idea? I just don't know.

Do you guys have any requests? Or advice?

6 thoughts on “So the first book of my…”

  1. I guess your dilemma makes me appreciate the process of architecture a little more. Our projects are only done on commission.. work is only performed after it is contracted with a client. Speculative work only occurs for competitions or personal gratification.
    Waiting to seeing your book get published based on the whim of some publisher has to be nerve wracking.
    But I think you should continue with the trilogy since the plot and character development is fresh in your head. Finished it will clear your mind for bigger and hopfully better things.
    Otherwise take a breather and use your energy on the multitude of other activities you are enveloped with.
    (PS could you be using the writing to escape from all the mundane activities facing you?)
    Best wishes.

  2. I am no good at the whole publication-career-strategy thing. But fwiw, I want to read books two and three.

    And I kind of agree with Elena: if there’s a book that you’re passionate about writing, or even really interested in / engaged with, then I’d say better to write that book than to set it aside and try to come up with something else.

    That said, I can see plenty of merit in the other argument. And I too would be interested in reading a Jump Space novel, for example.

    I feel like you had something like four book projects simmering a year or so ago, but I’m blanking on what the others were. …Oh, okay, you posted a list, and people commented on that entry about which ones they were most interested in. The other one I’m still most intrigued by is the family/war/terrorism one (connected to Bodies in Motion); I don’t know whether you ended up incorporating some of your plans for that into Rasathi, but I think it has a lot of potential.

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