The next book…by Deb Sarah

My next book is finished! At least, the first draft is done.

I can’t believe I just typed those sentences. You see, I wrote The Opposite of Me while my two oldest boys were in school. I had lovely long stretches of time in which to drop off the kids, walk the dog, brew a pot of tea, fire up my computer, and sink into my manuscript. From typing the first sentence to the last, it took about nine months- not an enormous amount of time to write a 100,000 word novel.

When my agent sold The Opposite of Me, I was six months pregnant. I had a vague idea for my next book, but it wasn’t fully formed. I had pregnancy brain, for God’s sakes! I could barely remember my husband’s last name at times (it’s Clooney, right?) let alone the strands of a a book-length plot. I churned out a few chapters in between my free-lance writing and editing of my first book (I FedExed back the edits two days before I went into labor) but left most of the work for after the baby was born. I think I had a vague idea of curling up next to the baby in bed and tapping away on my laptop.

I’d forgotten that babies need to nurse approximately 46 hours a day, and they go through about as many items of clothing in an hour. In writing this next book (which doesn’t yet have a title), I had to give up long, silent stretches of writing time. I wrote when the baby napped or when I could score a babysitter. I wrote late at night, first thing in the morning, and in the carpool line. Somehow, line by line, page by page, the book took shape.

Second books are notoriously difficult. I read an interview once with Elizabeth Gilbert in which she said something along the lines of, “It needs to feel familiar to readers of the first book, but different. And better. So the same, different and better!” No problem! I knew I wanted to stay within my genre (commercial women’s fiction) and that I wanted to write in the first person again. I wanted my second book to be funny but touch on serious themes. I really hope I achieved that.   My book is about a woman who wakes up one day and discovers she is married to a completely different man. That’s my 30-second elevator pitch – and I hope I’ll get to tell you more about it very soon.

Now it’s done. I’ve turned it into my agent, and I’m waiting to hear what she thinks. Please wish me luck!

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Sarah Pekkanen

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22 thoughts on “The next book…by Deb Sarah

  1. Congratulations on completing the first draft of Book #2! The premise sounds intriguing, to say the least. Your release date for THE OPPOSITE OF ME is so close you must be bursting at the seams! I can’t wait to read it!

  2. Congrats, Sarah! And, oh, my, those damn second books . . . I’ll tell you what the wonderful writer Stephanie Kallos told me: “Just remember, you’ll never have to write your ‘second book’ again.” On to number three!

  3. I wish you much luck. Writing through the second-book challenge is the hardest part, and you’ve already done that. Hooray! It’s a mental game that all writer lose occasionally. Talking to other writers with many books published always normalizes things for me. Whenever I was battling my doubts and demons, I used to think I was weak or crazy and that other more accomplished writers had it all together. But once you befriend those ‘together’ writers, and the public facade goes away, I have found that we are all neurotic about these things. Hooray again! Things like the Deb Ball help. So thanks for your post!

  4. You go girl! You rock and I am so impressed with the whole lot of you! (and now I return to the torture chamber that I call “writing my second book’).

  5. Thanks you all so much – it was wonderful to log in and see these comments and good wishes!
    And Q, I really appreciate you letting us know that even big-shot writers struggle. I think it’s easy to forget that sometimes, and to feel isolated (although the Deb Ball sure does help!) I wish everyone who is writing their second book (or first, or third) the best of luck. Thanks.

  6. You deserve an Olympic Gold Medal for writing under extreme conditions, Sarah, and for piquing as well as teasing everyone’s interest with that one-liner!

  7. Your hook sounds interesting to me! Sign me up if you’re looking for an early readers. : )

    I’m always impressed with those who write with kids. With a baby?! Amazing.

  8. The baby is older now and napping more regularly, so I’ve been getting a few longer stretches to write, which feels nice! I once read an interview with Mary Higgins Clark in which she talked about starting a book after she was widowed. She had five kids and worked a full time job. She rose early in the morning to get in a few pages before going to work. Now that’s dedication!

    I’m glad the new hook is intriguing – and Eileen, I may well take you up on your offer if you have the time!

  9. Congrats on finishing the second book. I’m sure it’s marvelous. A mother I know told me she learned how to type while holding a baby, but I never mastered that skill. I don’t think I would be a published author today if my son hadn’t taken such long and lovely naps during his first three years…

  10. That is so exciting that book #2 is already finished, at least in draft form. Now you have me anxious for The Opposite of Me and book 2! Congratulations.

  11. Can’t wait for the second book, what a great premise….I too am hoping to start writing once my son heads off to school. Right now I am Book Blogging and doing research and networking but my one year old takes up most of my time so….writing must wait! I would love to review your next book when it comes if you would like. I am reviewing your first as soon as I can get my hands on it. If you could put me on a list for your arcs, I would love to do pre-publication press for you…contact me if you are interested!

    Thanks so much!

    Courtney
    Stiletto Storytime
    “Just like stilettos, reading never goes out of style.”
    http://www.stilettostorytime.wordpress.com
    stilettostorytime(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. Congratulations, Sarah! Those authors published by the same company are amongst my favorites (especially Jennifer Weiner) so I am really looking forward to your book!

  13. I’m sure your second book is the same, different, and better. You’d think I was your mom with the way I see your writing through these rose colored glasses. 😀

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