At the beginning of 2013 I started writing a new book, a different genre this time and under a different name. A Bull by the Horns is the first of what I hope to be a new cozy mystery series tentatively called the Coffman’s Country Art Colony Cozies. Quite a mouthful, huh? Because the books are intended to be light years more “light” in tone from my Street Stories series, I plan to publish under my maiden name of Deb Donahue and have even begun to establish a personae under that pseudonym on websites and social media sites.
My goal, as originally posted in my Current Projects page, was to have the first draft done by the end of March or April so that I could begin work on the next Street Stories novel and hopefully have a first draft of that done by the end of the year. It’s a reasonable goal, since the cozies really don’t take as much background research or time to write. Two books a year also has the potential to eventually bring in enough income that I might someday be able to support myself (minimally, at least) with my writing income.
I knew selling the condo and moving to Illinois would put a strain on those deadlines, but I really, really, really did believe I would have a completed, if rough, manuscript before I set out across country to move. The trip would be a nice break, I figured, from the months of focused writing.
Not gonna happen.
I was going gangbusters during the first half of the book and was even able to get feedback on most of it thanks to my wonderful critique group, the Seattle Fiction Writers. Then I got obsessed with trying to decide which things to take with me on the move and which things to give away or toss. I’ll be sitting watching TV or doing stuff at the computer and all of a sudden I’ll think “Oh, I could box up all that stuff in the closet and not miss it at all.” The concentration needed to get any serious writing done is totally shot right now.
That’s not to say I haven’t been working at my writing career. I’ve been going through quite a few lists of reviewers and interviewers trying to drum up publicity for Bend Me, Shape Me. I’ve been blogging and Facebooking and Pinteresting under both my author names. And I’ve been playing on online printer sites to create promotional bookmarks and postcards. I even edited and then self published an old romantic suspense novel I’ve had in the drawer, just for fun. Chasing Nightmares is available for download as an ebook and will even be available as a paperback once I proof the galley for it.
I miss the writing, though. I want to get back to it, I do, but now the move is ramping up. The condo is sold, the short sale paperwork getting finalized, my place is a half-packed, half-ready-to-be-packed, half un-packed mess. No writing of any note is going to get done here now. Plan aborted, timeline sidelined, muse hanging by a thread in a tiny, locked up closet somewhere.
So now my trip across country, expected to be a vacation break between one novel and the next, will have to serve as an opportunity to inspire the completion of my mid-Western-based Coffman Cozies. I plan to take plenty of pictures of cows and countryside, old barns and small towns.
Then when I get to Mom’s house in Illinois, I will be chomping at the bit to get back to work making those images come alive thorough my words.
Wish me luck!