The last few months, I’ve been busting my butt to re-release two books I got the rights back to: Phoenix and The Flamboyant Flamingo. Both needed new editing, start to finish, and new covers. At the same time, I finished Half Moon House and got it out there. The Weatherboy sequel is still only half-finished and looks to remain incomplete for a while yet because I’ve decided to take a break.
The reasons for this are many. First, I have multiple edits coming up the next several weeks, several of which will overlap. This means I’m going to be working long, hard hours, and I won’t have time to be creative. I didn’t plan it this way, but sometimes it’s how things fall out.
Second, I started work on the next book, an SF/fantasy centered around a transgender teen, and hit a wall during plotting. No matter how hard I came at it, or from what direction, I couldn’t break through. So I put it aside and tried something else that equally excited me–for a few days. Then I simply stopped.
Third, sales of my books this year have been less than stellar. In fact, things have been so disappointing, I’ve thought of quitting altogether–yeah, yeah, I know. This is nothing new. Many authors go through this, not just me, and after a few days of gnashing their teeth or feeling sorry for themselves, they’re right back at it. Up until now, that’s how I reacted too.
But it’s been a couple weeks, and I haven’t started writing again. Plots and characters still teem in my mind, but I don’t feel the urge to write.
Instead, I’ve been re-reading the Merlin/Arthur books by Mary Stewart. The first one was published in 1970, and there are five books in the series, one of which I didn’t know existed until recently. I immediately went in search of it on Amazon, and a few days ago, it arrived from Switzerland. Yeah, that’s where I got it, and for $6 US. I’ve read one thousand pages in the last four days, and last night, I jumped into #3, The Last Enchantment.
Mary Stewart lived in England (she died not too long ago). She wrote a string of woman-in-peril romance books that were standouts in the genre due to strong descriptions, beautiful writing, and female main characters who were not wimps. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Disney made a movie based on one of them–The Moonspinners–that sucked compared to the book; in creating a vehicle for then very popular teen Hayley Mills, they turned an incredible piece of writing into pap for the masses. Continue reading