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the more the merrier

Karmela Johnson blogged today about having three different unfinished books in progress at one time (and they all sound sooo good!)

It was fun timing, because last night, I sat down and made a list of my own works-in-progress (WIPs) to see what I want to tackle this weekend.

It’s a long list.

That’s actually good news. I love having lots of projects to choose from. It helps when I’m stalled on a primary project, a.k.a. the one with a deadline looming. It helps when I’m between contracts and looking for my next sale. And it really, really helps when I’m feeling a little down and I want to remind myself why I started writing in the first place.

As corny as it sounds, writing to me is like reading – it opens doors to unexpected, magical worlds. When I read about those worlds, I get swept away. When I write about them, I definitely get that sensation, but I also have some control. Some magical power. I never know what’s going to happen yet, but once it happens, I realize why. Because I wanted it to happen!

It’s the ultimate freedom, really. And like a bookstore or library, it offers me unlimited choice. Am I in the mood for an adventure? A tender story (not usually, but still, it’s an option)? Something scary? Something funny? Something heart-stopping? Or just a slice of life with a little extra pizzazz?

That’s where the multiple WIPs come in. Obviously, if I have a book due within a week, I hunker down with that one. But I always know that once that week is done, I can work on anything I want. And if I’ve got a paranormal story and a legal thriller and a romantic comedy in various stages of development, I can jump right into one of them, whichever suits my mood.

Or I can start something completely different. I love that feeling.

If someone told me I could make millions as an author if I just concentrated on one type of story to the exclusion of everything else – if I never touched the other genres or subgenres, even for fun, but just wrote X (legal thrillers, or vampire stories, or secret agent stuff) for the rest of my life, I would immediately panic. The authorial equivalent of claustrophobia. Books are meant to provide choice, not limit it, for authors as well as readers. It’s a smorgasbord and I want it all. Okay, not all – I can only take it so sweet or so raunchy, for example, and I can’t stand techno-thrillers – but I certainly want the option of having it all. (Yep, even now, I’m thinking, why shouldn’t I write a techno-thriller? Never say never to a crazed writer.)

Anyway, back to the main topic. How many WIPs do I have going right now?

There’s the chick lit legal thriller I work on from time to time. Probably the best book of the bunch.

There’s my time travel – the most innovative plot I have going at the moment.

Third? The paranormal I worked on this weekend. It’s something of a psychological thriller, and I’ve been working on it for quite a while, trying to get it just right. If I succeed, it’ll seem like I wrote it in a month – rather light and quick. But behind the scenes? I really had to struggle to get to know this heroine because she has spent her whole life keeping the outside world at bay, apparently including moi! This is by far the most romantic of all the stories I have going at the moment, but in a slightly unconventional sense.

There’s a YA story that’s pretty hilarious. I love it. And another YA spy story that I love too, although I’m not sure if there’s any market for it.

Then there’s my new “disaster” story. End of the world stuff. I’m itching to write Chapter One, but again, is there a market? So I just write scenes, mostly handwritten. I’ve got quite a stack of those so far.

And last but not least: NIGHT ARROW, the sequel to SPIN CONTROL. Who knows what will happen with that? Not me. It’s a touchy subject, because it should have been a Bombshell. I need to be in the right place mentally before I begin the scary process of trying to change it into another kind of book.

Oh and then there are my old out-of-print paranormals and time travels. I got the rights back, and I intend to get them out there again, hopefully through an e-publisher. But it will take some concentrated research on the various e-publishers, and I want to do it justice, because those are truly the books-of-my-heart, as they say. So I’m waiting until I have a nice block of time to do that.

That’s it! BTYL,



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 9th, 2006 09:20 pm (UTC)
Good Thing I'm Not Your Publicist
Kate, Kate, Kate...it's a good thing I'm not your publicist, because MAN. You would be a difficult, nightmare client. I mean, how can I possibly BRAND you? What about that thing? You know...

Kate Donovan.

Remember that from Entourage? Hehe...

I know I'm not supposed to refer to the Book-That-Must-Not-Be-Named, but I'm kind of scared to read SPIN CONTROL because I know I'm going to want to read the...erm... you-know-what. What are your fans supposed to do???
Sep. 9th, 2006 10:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Good Thing I'm Not Your Publicist
I definitely remember that bit from E, and guess what? I take it as a compliment! Me and Vinnie -- unbrandable! (of course he makes zillions, and I barely cover the cost of printing, but otherwise it's exactly the same situation, sort of....)

You're so funny with the book-that-must-not-be-named -- yeah, what are we going to do about that? I'll tell you a secret -- that book has a line of dialogue in it that I just love to death. You'd think I could just move it to another story, but it works so perfectly in you-know-what I can't bear to. So on top of the obvious disappointment over that book, that line is going to drive me crazy!

And don't worry about reading SPIN CONTROL. It totally stands on its own, thank God. It's only the Epilogue that sets up the sequel. I wouldn't have included that if I'd known what was going to happen, and I kinda wish Silhouette had just pulled those pages when they went to print.

But we'll figure something out.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sep. 9th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Good Thing I'm Not Your Publicist
Okay oops! I forgot to sign my original comment. 'Tis me! Sorry about that. And now I'm really curious about that Dialogue-That-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Sep. 9th, 2006 11:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Good Thing I'm Not Your Publicist
Of course I knew it was you! Entourage plus marketing -- who else?

If NA never sees the light of day, remind me to share that line of dialogue with you (and anyone else who's interested). Kristie Hennessy says it, and it's so funny -- and true -- that I just sat back and stared at it the first time she made me write it down (longhand, which is how it still sits). I can practically guarantee you that you'll love it. It's so her.

I doubt I'll use it elsewhere. It would seem wrong somehow. The heroine of my disaster book is a wise-ass too, but can she pull off this line? I don't think so.

I"m with you, apparently. These heroines just own us forever!

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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