By Lynn Crandall
About six months ago, I released the final book in a five-book series. It was exciting to see the conclusion. It had been a fun but intense endeavor. I basked in the moment of no deadlines.
It was more than a moment of basking, but not much. For the first time in years, I was not working on a book or any kind of writing. I had plans for more stories, but nothing in the works. I thought this was a good thing. Life had been full of work, family issues, illnesses, deaths, and moving from a house my husband and I had raised our family in. I thought a pause to refuel and just be would be the perfect way to live for a bit.
Very quickly I became agitated. I needed to be productive, produce another book. Urgency in me made me squirmy and on edge. I couldn’t relax. Whatever I was going to write next, I needed the process of it to begin. Now.
What does an author do between books? I read the title of a blog post that asked that question. It really resonated with me.
I had a plan. I was going to catch up with communications and promotions. I was going to read for pleasure, something that had taken a back seat for a while. I was going to enjoy chilling and walking and biking. I sat with my agitation and allowed my muscle memory of producing to ease. But the need to write a book didn’t lessen. In fact, in the space between books, I clarified, once again, my desire to continue writing.
I also missed my characters from the series. I loved writing their stories. So I wrote a short story that was loosely connected to the series, titled Finding Finn. That was so much fun, I want to do more shorts. But not right now. I’m chapters into my WIP and loving these characters just as much as the ones that have gone before. I haven’t decided yet if it will be a single title or a part of a trilogy, but it feels very natural and very good to be back into producing. I know I can’t take a year to write this new book, publishing just isn’t like that for writers like me. This book is more complex than ones I’ve written before, but even if I could take a year to write, I wouldn’t be able to or want to. My inner drive won’t let me. And my inner drive is helping me do what I love, so I’m not complaining.
So what does an author do between books? The answer for me is prepare in my head for the next book before the release of a book. Take a more leisurely pace for a few weeks (maybe less), then write the next book. It’s what makes me happy.
Do you have healthy strategies for the space between books? As a reader, do you patience to wait for a next book from a favorite author?