Saturday, September 20, 2014


When I wrote my first novel, The Life We Bury, I didn't feel like a I could call myself a writer as I felt more like a lawyer writing a novel (and as I've learned since, that’s what most lawyers apparently do). I’d spent nearly two decades learning and practicing and studying to prepare myself for this adventure and when the time came, my words flowed out at an easy pace. I had no deadline. I was in no hurry.  Writing was fun.

With novel number two, I felt no need to have a product out by a particular deadline either. I began novel number two when I was in the dreaded agent-query process. If you are in that part of the process now, I highly recommend that you start your next novel while you query. The time between sending out a query letter and hearing back can take weeks, sometimes months.  Writing another novel will distract you from wanting to check your empty email every five minutes.

But when I submitted my second manuscript to my publisher, I decided to ask for a three-book deal. I had ideas for all three books, and their stories worked together in a nice arc, so why not. Well, my request was granted. I received the contracts in the mail and signed them with the high-minded feeling that I was no longer a lawyer writing books, but rather a novelist who also practiced law.

Now it’s time to write novel number three and it seems as though I haven’t any time. With The Life We Bury coming out in less than a month, I have been inundated with tasks I hadn’t expected. It never occurred to me that I’d be writing so many interviews for bloggers and reviewers. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing Q&As. I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to get a Q&A request from bloggers.  Then there are the articles for Writer’s Digest and The Big Chill. On top of that I have been fortunate enough to have events scheduled that put me in touch with many potential readers and fans. In short, I am busy and completely loving it.  I would devote every waking hour to spreading the word about The Life We Bury if I could.

But then I remember that I have another novel to write (and a law practice to run). I
have novel number three outlined and a couple chapters written. Lucky for me, I had my second manuscript finished and sold to the publisher before The Life We Bury hit the store shelves. That means that novel number three won’t launch until the fall of 2016. Where before, I could write when the feeling struck me, I now have to be more disciplined and schedule time in advanced for writing. I hope to never box myself into a corner where I don’t have the time that I want (or need) to write the quality of novel I want to write.

I used to think that if I had to write, I would not enjoy it as much as I did when I wrote because I wanted to write, but I am finding that that is not the case. I’m writing this blog post on a break from my morning’s work and as I finish this piece, I can’t wait to go back to my manuscript. It’s a lovely Saturday morning and I’m sitting on my deck with my laptop on my lap. It’s a good day to write a novel.