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Update on the New Book

A brief update on the new book: it’s taking longer than expected.

In somewhat more detail: the working title is just that (“The New Book”) and there’s a full draft of just under ninety thousand words, or 300 pages. The story takes place in near-future Seattle. I’m in the process of incorporating early feedback from beta readers — my agent and a couple of writer friends who kindly agreed to take a look at the manuscript.

How long will this editing pass take? Hard to say. I’m making slow and steady progress. In general I’ve found that where the creative process is concerned, that’s what seems to work best for me — not trying to rush things. Deadlines often require moving along fast, which can be both good and bad, but this time around I have the luxury of being able to take my time.

Which is not to say that I’m spending my days reclined on the couch with my back turned to the computer and my feet up, reading election news on my iPad mini and eating endless chocolate bars to help with the digesting of the election news. Just that getting the story to the level where it needs to be requires some thought as I edit the manuscript (Does this scene do its job of propelling the story along or should it be cut? Can I make that sentence snappier? Would a different word work better in establishing the world building of the story? You get the idea.) This past week I cut ten pages total, consisting of bits and pieces that were bogging down the early parts of the book. Yay!

Which is all another way of saying that, like with most things, it’s worth taking the time to get it right. 
There may still be chocolate involved.
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News This Third Week of October

If you receive these updates via email, as you can see, the newsletter has a new format! It’s now getting to you by way of Mailchimp rather than Feedburner. With any luck, the transition will go smoothly and the email won’t wither away in your spam folder…or, if it did go into spam, you’ve rescued it and are now reading this. As a side note, if the images aren’t displaying correctly, there is a link at the top with an option to view the email on the web.

My thanks to everyone who posted a review of The Feline Affair on Amazon, Goodreads, and other sites! Reviews help other readers find the story, and Amazon reviews are particularly important because without a certain number of them the site’s recommendation/also-bought algorithms won’t kick in. (Exactly how many reviews it takes no one outside of Amazon seems to know.) So whether you liked The Feline Affair, or thought it was just OK, or frankly not very good at all… please let other Amazon customers know by writing a line or two about the book.

In other news, I’ve been hard at work on a standalone novel (no title yet). This one is a little different in that it’s decided that it wants to be written not in the traditional past-tense narration (Once upon a time, there lived a King in the small kingdom of Wilderia…) but in the present tense (The king of the far-way planet of Wilderia sits on his throne. An unexpected visitor enters. The king, dispensing with a thousand years of protocol, rises to his feet in terror…) Examples of present-tense novels you may have read are The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The immediacy of the present tense works well for those (quite different) books and I’m finding that’s the case for my new novel as well. So it’s a little bit of an experiment, but hopefully a good one. (Also, so there’s no confusion—there are no kings in the new book!)

Finally, I leave you with a couple of photos of beautiful Minnesota autumn, taken at Applewood Orchard, just south of us. Most of the apples had been picked over this late in the season, but our small group–husband, son, and family friends–quite enjoyed the pumpkin-shaped corn maze!