Almost always after finishing a manuscript and during the weeks in which the editor tackles the manuscript, I revise, and we do it all again before the book launches, I languish in that in-between state of sputtering ideas and mental exhaustion.
Ever watch a sparkler? Like the sparks of light that fly off the stick, ideas spark in my mind most of the time and most fade into nothing. Some sparkle more brightly than others, but they soon disappear. That indicates, to me, that they were mere flashes of interest, ephemeral and not worthy of building stories upon. A handful burn brightly and tease my mind for days. I spend a lot of mental time and energy developing stories inside my brain. If I can't drum up the interest or if my mental storytelling falters on an idea and can't blast it open for progress, then that idea, too, isn't worth the effort of writing.
Eventually, one will take hold. It will capture my imagination and intrigue me. It will, in simple terms, stick. That's the idea worth writing. That's the idea worth developing. That's the idea that will become the next book.
Developing and writing such an idea doesn't always go smoothly or quickly. One of my most gripping ideas that spurred me to write, write, write for days turned into a story that those who read it find compelling: The Falcon of Imenotash. I consider that little book a tour de force. Despite the glowing reviews, it doesn't sell. Another title that I think exemplifies my best work also doesn't sell: Daughter of the Dark Moon. In fact, I really like that entire trilogy.
I suppose it's important that I like what I write. I cannot imagine being afflicted with Stephen King's horrific imagination. In an interview, the host asked him why he wrote horror. King replied that if he could write something else, he would.
In the meantime, I will focus my energies on polishing the next book, Hogtied. This 60,000-word novel will span the following sub-genres of romance: military, biker/MC (motorcycle club), new adult, cowboy/cowgirl. How does all that fit together into one novel? Here's the cover blurb:
Cowgirl meets biker ... what could go wrong? When a biker shoots her sister's prize steer, champion roper Melanie goes after him. Unfortunately, she doesn't think it through, and that hot temper puts her squarely in Hammer's sights. Melanie's ire only increases when Hammer defuses the dangerous situation by claiming her as his property. If the former Marine and now sergeant-at-arms of the Black Ice Revolution MC thinks she's his for the taking, he's sadly mistaken. She wants nothing to do with him, but he's not about to let this sexy, feisty woman go.
Let me know what you think.
In the meantime, I'm going to try to wrestle my restless brain into some semblance of focus.