Now what?

Isn’t this how it goes: You write a book, labor through edits and revisions, create the cover art and then put it out into the world as an eBook — creative processes that can be at the same time energizing and draining. In a lot of ways the whole deal reminds me of raising a child; a wonderful, difficult, beautiful, bratty and ultimately rewarding child.

You get all that done, sit back to catch your breath, and inevitably someone will ask “What’s next?”

As in: when will you be bringing that next kid into the world, raising him or her through good times when your fingers can’t fly across the keyboard fast enough, and lean times when you just don’t have any idea where the story is going … or how it got there in the first place?

“What’s next?”

Steve Montano (@Daezarkian), author of the excellent Blood Skies stories (find out more here) and a fellow Washington state resident, recently finished getting Soulrazor (Blood Skies Book 3) out and then he immediately started working on the next installment.

I, on the other hand, finished Carpathia before last Christmas and haven’t written anything substantial since then (grocery lists don’t count, right?). I finished editing, cover-creating and providing publishing support to another guy’s book, caught up on some TV shows on DVD and read quite a few really, really good books by indie authors — I’m currently about halfway through and loving Mr. Montano’s Black Scars (Blood Skies Book 2).

But I haven’t felt the urge to sit down at the keyboard to start another novel. Now and then I would flash on a story premise, plot twist, character or even a scene, but after writing these down I pushed my trusty legal pad to the side and forgot about it.

That is, until this week. A new idea popped into my head and this time it didn’t fade away after I wrote it down. In fact, looking back over the past few months worth of chicken scratches on my legal pad, I can see connections. I’ve been nibbling around the edges of the same story all this time.

Huh.

On top of that, I’m suddenly curious about what will happen when I sit down at the keyboard with this germ of a story. Where will it go? What final shape will it take? Sitting here tonight, I don’t have any answers, but I do once again have the desire to go through the process of finding out.

First things first. Although my youngest daughter (herself an author, find her debut novel Rhythm of Redemption on Amazon.com) would like to see more of the characters from Carpathia, perhaps in a prequel, I’m not ready to take that on. Instead, I’m looking at doing something set in the Carpathia universe, maybe — maybe — with a cameo from a previous character.

This is a similar approach to the excellent Clockwork Century books of Cherie Priest (@cmpriest) — Boneshaker, Dreadnought and Ganymeade — which share the same alternate reality setting, or universe. Throughout the series I’ve enjoyed and admired how Ms. Priest advanced an over-arching premise while at the same time telling three stories that stand on their own, often by pulling minor characters from one to the forefront in subsequent books.

While I’m sure I can’t match Ms. Priest’s level of authorship (or sales!) the beauty of the current indie author climate is that I’m going to try anyway, and at some point in the future the product of my effort will be ready to move out of my house and onto the web as an eBook.

But first there will be the Terrible Twos and then those awkward teenage years to deal with.

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