NanoWrimo 2016 ended for me last night at 10pm, when I clocked in with 32,075 words on my paranormal romance/thriller EvenSong. I didn’t meet the 50k challenge, but I couldn’t be happier with my progress. I averaged about a thousand words a day despite losing almost a week to migraines and…well, other kinds of headaches.
And I love my new novel. Love it! It is such a nerve wracking transition, to go from that seed of an idea to laying down the opening chapters of a new book. No matter how many times you’ve done this before, you worry that this time, it’s just not going to come together as you envisioned.
Then, after those first bumpy scenes, you hit your rhythm. The characters open up to you, and you to them. After that, the surprises start: Little details pop up that wouldn’t have occurred to you ahead of time. The story fills with color and life. Confidence builds, and halfway through the first draft, you start thinking, “Hey, this could actually work!”
EvenSong is a companion novel to The Hunting Grounds. Both of them form part of my new Path of Souls collection, a series of paranormal romance/thrillers set in my hometown of Kansas City. The novels feature different casts of characters, with some overlap in the minor players, and all the action and conflict built around the same supernatural world.
EvenSong will probably be about the same length as The Hunting Grounds, which means I’m halfway done with the first draft of my fifth novel. As part of NanoWrimo, I also completed an outline for the remaining chapters, and so I have a very solid map of where all the threads will go from here.
With the first big push behind me, I’m going to set EvenSong aside for now and attend to other priorities. Most importantly, I need to finish going through the proofs for Daughter of Aithne so we can get the third and final book of The Silver Web out to my readers this spring. Thomas Vandenberg is working on the cover art, and we’re planning to have a reveal for you later this month.
No decision yet from the publisher who is currently considering The Hunting Grounds, but with any luck, I’ll have some news – and hopefully good news – by Christmas time. If the answer is no, I’ll pick up the pieces of my shattered ego and start a fresh round of queries in the new year.
I still haven’t put up my Christmas decorations; NanoWrimo took priority over that. But I plan to get the house ready for the holidays this weekend, and I’m very much looking forward to a season of hot chocolate and cozy fires.
2016 has been a trying year, and yet filled, nonetheless, with its own manner of blessings. I’m a little wary of what 2017 might bring, but with NanoWrimo behind me, at least I can say this much: On the other side of New Year’s Eve, EvenSong awaits.
And that gives me something truly fantastic to look forward to.