“Being a writer is a very peculiar job: It’s always you versus a blank piece of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.” -Neil Gaiman
I am the first to admit that it has been a long six years since I wrote the following in a blog post titled: Let the Journey Begin dated 1/18/18.
“Book Three does not yet have a name but it does have a working first line: “So it’s true. You really do play with dolls.” I leave you to wonder who it is that says that to Franny.”
Book Three now has a name: Through Another Door. I finished the book at last and it’s ready to take its place in the Lynton Series, set in fictional Lynton, New Hampshire.
What took so long? It may have been as simple as what Neil Gaiman says above. “Quite often the blank piece of paper wins.”
Of course, there was the great scourge of our time: The Covid Pandemic. As much as I would love to blame those two years of fear, sadness, and inertia on my failure to keep writing, I can’t. It was the author who was the problem and that would be me.
I so envy “the spreadsheet writers” as I call them. These are the writers who have detailed colored-coded spreadsheets filled with characters and plot points carefully laid out to be studied and manipulated. I wish I could be one of them. Alas, it’s not in me. I am a “pantser”, that is a writer who flies by the seat of her pants, never sure what’s on the next page and I suspect I always will be. When I began my first book, MacCullough’s Women, the first line I wrote was the beginning of chapter five. I still find myself checking the correct spelling of Sofia’s name. And that’s the truth.
Through Another Door builds on themes of change and growth. The story unfolds as both Brid and Franny confront questions and unexpected challenges in their lives. Both women discover that change is often painful.
Meanwhile, Franny’s “found family” continues to grow. One of the joys I find in writing comes from suddenly discovering a new character (or two) pulling at my sleeve. Readers will discover three new faces in Through Another Door.
I enjoy them all, but it’s Damien I was waiting for. I hope you will love him, too.
If I had a dime for every time I have heard, “I’m not in your book, am I?” or “Where do you get your characters?” I would be a wealthy woman. So where do writers get their characters? Writers do not “put” people in their books. My characters are “informed” by the people I’ve crossed paths with, both past and present. What do I mean by this? I borrow an expression, a stance, a smile, a tee-shirt or an attitude and give it to a character I am creating. Every fiction writer I know does this. Only God can create from nothing. Relax. You are not in the book.
Through Another Door has a cameo appearance by a real person. When I was writing the book, I read the memoir “When Hell Was In Session” by the late senator from Alabama, Jeremiah Denton, Rear Admiral, US Navy. I was so moved by his courage and leadership that I included him in the story. I feel confident the act I have him perform is something he would have done if the situation were real.
I hope you enjoy reading this latest addition to the Lynton Series as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
Through Another Door is available first as a Kindle Edition on Amazon on 13 February. You can order one now for $0.99. I will wait a few days before raising the price.