I have learned an important thing about my writing process this year, and that is that I am a loyal, one-book kind of girl. Writing a novel is very much like entering a love affair for me—it’s consuming. I spend all day day-dreaming about my characters and spend sleepless nights devoted to their well-being. I become completely focused on what they want and need and how they are feeling. So it should not have felt like a surprise when every time I jotted down a note about book two while I was still editing book one it felt like a betrayal.
But now THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING is solidly out of my hands. The editing process is done, the book has been designed, and the focus is now on marketing and publicity. My work is done. And it feels a little like a break-up. Well, not a break-up, exactly—we are still in touch daily—but we are definitely seeing other people. Book one is playing the field. It’s looking good–like it’s been going to the gym–in it’s shiny, new advance reader copy jacket. Like an old lover I stalk it online to see whose hands it’s been in. It looks happy. I wish it well.
In the meantime, I am trying to learn to let it go.
But I feel afraid to enter into a new relationship. What if this one doesn’t work out? What if I get rejected? What if I don’t feel the same way I did with my first novel? Will I ever love another story as much as I loved THE CITY BAKER? Can my heart stand the strain of the risks and leaps it has to take in search of that feeling of joy and connection when the words and images are coming together? Am I ready to feel the warm breath of new dialogue on my ear? The truth is I don’t think I will ever feel ready. But I also can’t imagine living without a new book for the rest of my life. And seeing THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING out there in the world makes me feel a little alone. I know it’s time.
So, like a newly single woman taking her first, tender steps on Match.com, I am flirting with a new story. We are in that wonderful early stage of a relationship, where I find all of the character’s quirks charming and I’m ignoring all the plot holes.
I’m hoping this might be the one.