One of the ongoing comments and queries I get these days is: When will the next one be out? I get these before the just newly published book is even 24 hours old …which means some of you read really fast. Wow!
Answer: When I get done writing it, and my editors (of which there are three), my proof-readers (of which there are four), and my beta readers (of which there are also four, but a different four) get done.
A HUGE THANKS TO THOSE OF YOU WHO TAKE THE TIME TO EMAIL
I cannot tell you what it means to a writer to have someone take the time and make the effort to reach out and share your thoughts, your joy, your questions, your perspectives …and your own stories about your lives and your dogs. It’s a huge uplift to my life, and I try to answer everybody. Apologies to anyone who gets or got missed. Email is a wonderful thing. Getting the app to behave and not bin the good stuff and not keep the spam stuff is a constant fight.
How Many Books are Planned?
At least six, but I’ve scene sketched thirteen, now. It is an ongoing story, just as is each and every one of our own lives.
I’m writing number five right now and have the last book in the series in the works …in case I get run over by the driving duallies of a semi when making my way to the store. Then, all that has to happen is somebody has to push the button and you all will know the ‘end of the story’ …which I do leave tied up with a solid period …but, yes, it is but the potential beginning of the next, of course, because every end begets yet another beginning in both life and fiction. My literary mentor always told me that: “The end begets the beginning in everything we write,” and I’ve found that to be too true on both ends of a novel.
Addressing Some Grousing
First off: Landon and Jessica are written to be realistic people, not fairy tale figures. And in fact, they are both composites of people I know and have known. Just like everybody in every one of my novels, save maybe Created Evil, but, even then. So, yes, they are flawed, as well as gifted in their own ways. They have their idiosyncrasies and their foibles …just like we all do, and there are some things one may like about them and other things one may not …as it should be.
To those who grouse about grammatical errors in the book: We all (all of the above mentioned) do try, and these people are not slouches, but, invariably, after I hit the publish button and am reading the book on my Kindle or in my hand, there, bold as anything, my eye will catch yet another error.
One regular comment I get back from my helpers is ‘I got so immersed in the story that I don’t know if I caught everything’—high compliment, that, to a novelist.
And then there’s word processing programs.
I especially do NOT like certain programs that attempt to self-correct me, replacing words that I do mean with words the AI thinks I must mean. That happened in To Inherit a Murderer where Word exchanged my word ‘restrain’ with ‘sustain’ at the end of Chapter Three. Have I re-uploaded a corrected version of the book? I may have done so for the eBook, but not the print book. I’m not sure. Maybe, maybe not.
Then there’s spelling, of course. Though born in the USA, my dad was in the service, so I learned my ABCs and 123s in Europe, under British tutelage. Relearning American spellings was a chore, and then some.
Grammar, you ask? I learned my grammar under ‘old-fashioned’ (formal) schooling, not in slap-dash, anything goes ‘entertainment is education’ and ‘everybody gets a passing grade’ schools. My schooling, in primary and secondary schools, did include diagramming sentences, something I’m not sure is even done at the college level today, though I do hear it’s making a comeback in US public schools …or at least with parents of school-aged children.
And for those of you who don’t like my punctuation, hey, nobody can ever agree on anything, but I have dropped a lot of commas and semicolons from how I used to write, so some of you can count your blessings. Others not so much.
The old line from a song comes to mind: You can’t please everybody, so you have to please yourself, and I am completely selfish in that, if I like it, it stays.