As I gleefully announced on Friday, my book deal is now complete. Tor Books will publish my debut novel, Waking up Dead, in the Spring of 2012. The following fall the second novel in the trilogy, tentatively titled Hollywood Dead, will come out. The final book, Deadly Revelations, is due in the Spring of 2013.
Writing those sentences brings me great joy. I love the characters in these novels. They live under layers of expectations and hidden desires. I can’t wait to share them with the world. The moment I’ve daydreamed about the most as a writer is getting a question about some tiny detail, a character’s choice of word or why there’s a ceramic rooster in the vampire’s kitchen, that tells me someone let the story live in their imagination.
But writing those sentences also fills me with a sense of fear. It seems there are millions of things I should be doing, along with things I should already have done. I need to join new groups so I can network with other authors. I need a ‘slug line’ – a single sentence that encapsulates my book. I should think about bookmarks, or other give aways. I need to get on the conference circuit. I should be promoting.
At the same time, there’s a new book rattling around in my brain. Waking up Dead is about a war veteran who returns home after a vampire attack leaves her with lab grown muscles in her arm and leg. The Army taught her how to use her abilities as a spirit witch, so she can tell when someone is lying, she can communicate with dead spirits, and when she shakes your hand she knows what you’re feeling. When one of the guys from her squad ends up dead and the police get paid to cover it up, she refuses to let things go. Elisabeth Hicks is a strong, take charge woman.
The main character of the new idea is a lot softer. She’s a professor of demonology who’s used to the safety of books and college classrooms. When her officemate is murdered she’s forced to turn to her ex-fiancée, a red skinned demon from hell, to protect her.
In all the time I’ve been writing and dreaming about publishing, I never realized I’d have to let two very different ladies share the space in my head like this. It’s a juggling act, but it’s one I’m eager to practice.