Well, after eight months of taxing my brain, working six or seven long days every week, and tossing and turning every night with plot ideas and twists and turns, I’m happy to announce that Resuscitation, the sequel to They Never Die Quietly, is completed, edited, and in my agent’s hands.
Now, as you might imagine, comes the most agonizing part of writing: Waiting. The way the book-publishing business is today, volatile and uncertain, particularly for “brick and mortar” bookstores, the birth of E-Books and print-on-demand has changed the whole landscape of book publishing. For newcomers like me, the competition for publishing contracts is ferocious. New writers face a perplexing catch 22. Without a track record (a strong following and above-average sales), it’s nearly impossible to get published. But if you aren’t published, how do you establish a track record? All I can do is hope that some acquisition editor out there falls in love with my manuscript.
Another issue a novelist faces after completing a book is a profound sense of disconnect. Think about this. For eight months, I literally lived with my characters; not just when I was writing, but nearly every conscious moment. These are people I created with multi-dimensional characters. They felt happy, fearful, regret, love, anger, vulnerable, sad, confident, and confused. I had a relationship with each and every one of them. And now they’re gone. It’s as if they all boarded a plane and it crashed in the Pacific Ocean. They can’t move forward, grow old, get married, find a new career, or chew a piece of gum. They live in my memory, but they stand frozen in time, held hostage by the words on each page of the book. Even I, the writer, wants to know what happens next, but there is no “next” unless they live on in another book. It’s an eerie feeling. Perhaps that’s why many novelists like James Patterson write a series of novels focused on the same hero, like Alex Cross. Guess I have to chew on that for a while.
Maybe Detectives Sami Rizzo and Al Diaz will live on.