A few months ago, I took a break from sending queries for my first book, Kinder Farm, to finish a second novel called Sister Andri.
And then, I read The Time-Traveler's Wife...
Wow. Loved that book. Loved that I couldn't figure out what was going on at first. Loved the style in which it was written. And it was just the inspiration I needed to pen a third novel that had been rattling around in the back of my brain for a month or two.
It's funny -- I think I 'm unusual in my obsession with writing. I don't use outlines, but sometimes before I write, I'll write up a 2-paragraph summary of the book, much like a query letter. Usually I'll have the idea for a few weeks or months, and I don't know exactly how it happens but often I'll dream about what happens in the story. Once the idea for a novel grows larger than just a glimmer, I'll write a few notes, and then do a bit (or a LOT -- as was the case for Kinder Farm and Sister Andri) of research. When I finally start writing, I'll write 12-15 hours a day until I get stuck, or until it's done.
So, when I finished writing the rough draft of Janie Hannagan: Dream Catcher in a week, it didn't surprise me. But other people look at me like I'm either lying or the book must be terrible. But 100 hours went into the book that week. Not to mention the dreams at night, working out the plot for me (how nice of my dreams to do that!). After writing the rough, I put it away for a few days, then spent a day editing. And then my toughest critic read it and almost fell over in excitement about it. That's a good sign. :)
So I put it away and wrote a sequel to it over the next ten days. Then went back to the first book about Janie and edited for a week, sent it out to my handful of readers and got it ready for querying.
And then, oh the horrors, I took a whole weekend off from writing.
Today, I'm ready to edit the sequel. And work on a query letter and synopsis of Sister Andri.
And look for another amazing book out there to read.