I think I’m done with the novel-for-adults (The Lonely Years, formerly The Storytellers). Have sent it to a friend to proofread it, and then I’ll send it along to my agent. Has changed considerably since the last draft I sent him, and I’m pretty certain he’ll like it, because the book is good book.
Now I just feel totally blah. I don’t want to do anything except listen to true crime audiobooks and play mediocre Diablo clones (Grim Dawn, right now, for those keeping track). Haven’t had much interest in reading serious books. Definitely haven’t had much interest in starting a new project.
When I am trying to start anything new, the one exercise I’ve used over and over again is to just imagine that I’m holding a book. Then I imagine opening the book and looking at the first page. What’s on that page? What do I want to see there? What genre? What characters? What tone? Then I try to write that book.
I’ve had no luck with this exercise, even though I’ve done it for years. No aha moments where everything just unfolds naturally, but I still do it, because it puts the emphasis exactly where it needs to be: my own interest, and my own tastes. I want to write the sort of book that I want to read. And usually that means, “The sort of book I want to read right now.”
Lately I’ve been fooling around with various ideas for thrillers. I started a spy thriller and got bored of it. Now I’m starting a domestic thriller. Maybe I’ll get bored of that too!
I supposed I could also work on another young adult novel! I am definitely being a bad children’s book writer by failing to sell another YA novel before my first one comes out. At this rate, even if I sold a young adult novel tomorrow, it wouldn’t come out until 2022, probably.
I do think I have another YA contemporary in me, but it’ll need time to come out. There’s a reason this second novel is coming out four years after the first.
I continue to be very happy with We Are Totally Normal. I can’t believe it’s actually coming out! It’s the kind of book where, normally, I’d write it and be like, well this is great, but it’ll probably never sell. Except it did sell. And it’s gonna be released in less than six months. That’s pretty sweet. We’ve got a great list of blurbs, from Shaun David Hutchinson, M.E. Girard, Kacen Callender, Julian Winters, and a bunch of other people. I’ve enjoyed reading the Goodreads reviews too. Even the bad reviews are good! The bad reviews are like, “This is a great book that was not to my taste.” Whereas the bad reviews for my first book were like, “This book infuriated me. It is an abomination. It shouldn’t exist.” The good reviews for this one are also a lot better than the best reviews for the last one.
I don’t know that this book will take off like a rocket or make an immense splash. The market is huge, and it’s impossible to say what’ll happen. But I am confident that some people out there are going to read and love it and that a few kids will be very happy they came across it. There are no other books that handle confusion re: sexual orientation and gender identity in quite the way mine does, and I think that for a lot of young girls, especially, confusion is the order of the day!