Nothing thrills an author more than reviews such as these:
“I’m delighted to learn that Book 7 is on the way!”
“I look forward to the next book in April.”
“Looking forward to next book in April. I am committed!”
Except if it is now April and my next novel, Las Cruces, is not…quite…well, finished. Here is where the push-pull comes––to accede to the temptation to rush to finish and publish, or allow the story to spin out at its own rate and speak for itself.
Of course, there is no real choice. The story will tell itself as the others have always done and I must be patient and allow it time to do so.
But will fans and followers be as patient? Or will they turn to the next series in the same genre and follow another of the millions of authors now available and never look back? I hope not. But I worry.
A good book takes time. A frequent curious question at my book signings is “How long does it take you to write a book?” My response is, “Oh, about four months…or five…or eight…or…” The story takes as long as it takes.
It is not a matter of the Muse for me––she always shows up. It is her story, after all. Sometimes though, I get in the way if I feel pressured to finish. When that happens, I may dictate rather than listen. Ultimately, it can mean rewriting several chapters. That is the Muse’s punishment for me. “See?” she says. “Be patient. Wait for my story to unfold.”
Every market today is flooded with authors. But write a good enough story and readers will want to read your next one. Even if it takes a while. Even if the reader drifts through dozens of other works in the meantime. Believe!
In a recent review, a reader listed Pros and Cons. The Pros were very gracious. I held my breath when I came to the Cons: It read: “CON: Now I must wait for the next in the series. Even if just to see whether Eagle Feather follows through on the ‘date’.”
I think this reader will be there when “Las Cruces” is finally published.