I keep being asked, so I’m posting a memo for you all. Yes, right now I’m writing Book 7 of The Jessica Anderson K-9 Mysteries. Most definitely. 😀 How many books will be in the JA series? As many as it takes to tell it all. Right now, it’s mapped through book 12.
For fans for The 1st Promise, The 2nd Promise is with beta readers. Carole Hill and I hope to release it the end of September.
The book has been full of surprises for me as an author. The police procedural part got written straight through …except for the very tense ending which I tend to avoid doing until there’s no other choice …because it takes me hours to recover from the stress. (Authors, at least this author, live the scenes as they write them, so your body’s adrenaline rush gets to you.)
The book is already on pre-order and it says it has a release date of mid-August. I’m planning on a much sooner release, but we’ll see, won’t we?
Meanwhile, it’s been a real kick experiencing the ongoing SAR and HRD ops that Jessie and her wonder mutts execute, sometimes with the whole team involved. And Landon? People keep throwing wrenches into his attempt to keep an ordered life, especially his new house guest, Dr. Sol Preston!
This update happened because I just finished another scene that thrilled me!
Okay. Back to your regular activities, now, as I get back to writing. 🙂
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.
Way back before I set a moratorium on publishing my novels because of piracy, I set out to write at least two books a year. And did it. In fact, all three of my Montana Love Story novels were written in a month and under, with the second and still unpublished third book drafted in seventeen days and sixteen days, respectively. It was something which I hadn’t thought myself capable, that is to write a good book — one of my books — in shorter than a year. I proved to myself that I could …only to quit publishing in a fit of temper about all my books having been pirated, even those exclusive to Amazon.
Now, a full two years plus since my last novel’s release, an author friend’s needs prompted me to put my process down in an orderly, organized guide. Here it is:
Frozen diamonds greeted my bare feet this morning. Refreshing to the toes and soles, I delighted in the sensation of those crisp, frozen water nodules crackling underfoot. It sleeted sometime in the night–just a little–and it coated the truck, the drive, the ground with glowing shimmers.
Experiencing what we, in zentao, call ‘moment’ keeps me vital and life enraptured. For me, that’s important for my writing, my artwork, and, yes, even for playing my husband’s music. It keeps me enthused and refreshed. Without those experiences, what would life become? Just drudgery and duty? I don’t know.
I do know that I’m never bored, never lacking passion. There’s always something fresh and new to me. For me, experiencing compounds a desire to learn more, and, then, to express anew in word, in sound, in imagery, through my art, my novel writing, my musical performances. So, no, never lonely, never bored.
Life is full and sweet, full of delight. It’s also, of course, filled with hardship, toil, and danger, but, even inside the frenetic and the frantic, there lives ‘moment’–the play of light and shadow, the scent of soil, of wood, of sweat or blood or mud, yes, even muck, the sound of snapping wood and of the storm wind’s turbulence, the sting of frozen fingers thawing, the taste of terror fading on the tongue as panic eases. There’s always something to stimulate an awe in me.
I guess that’s why I’m flummoxed when acquaintances arrive, bemoaning loneliness and boredom. Even when I worked at a job requiring me to perform repetitively like some machine, I never experienced what they suffer, so I never know quite what to do or say. It’s not a shared experience.