Yesterday, I wrote the first chapter of the ninth book in the Sebastian St. Cyr series. This part of the writing process is, for me, an exhilarating blend of trepidation and excitement: excitement for this shiny new idea that beckons and beguiles, and worry that it won't come up to the standards set by the previous books or that the story contains some fatal unseen flaw that will eventually cause the entire book to crumble into an unfinishable mess.
It's at this point that I can sometimes become confused when I talk to my readers, who've just finished the newly released book while I am obsessed with the events and people of a book they won't see for two years. Floating in production between us is the book I just finished, What Darkness Brings, which won't be published for another year. The time lag is frustrating for me, too, but the truth is that I am a very slow writer and these books take a long time to plot, research, and write. I wish I could write faster, and I know I could produce a different kind of book faster. Just not these.
What is this new book about? Hmm, I think maybe I'll keep that quiet for a while yet. Its working title is Why Kings Somethingoranother. (Yes, I actually put that at the top of the synopsis I submitted to my editor.) She loves the idea, incidentally--especially since this book will finally answer one of the questions she's been asking me about for ten years now: What happened to Sebastian in the war that came so close to destroying him?
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