Eight months ago, I came across a photo of an unnamed prostitute taken in the 19th Century. Enchanted by this photo, I found myself falling for the young woman. As I wondered about her life, where she came from, and what her hopes and fears were, I got the idea for a novel. So I am happy to report the following.
I have previously blogged quite a bit about my work on my second novel, Molly’s Song. I am happy to report that at 5:22 pm (CST) on Saturday, November 30, 2019, I typed the final word of the first draft. Now, it’s just a first draft, and there is much work to be done on the editing front. I typically make three passes over it myself before I pack it off to my editor, which I will do in March. When I get it back from her, there will be more revisions, and then a copy edit in July. I’m aiming for a release in the early fall of 2020. However, despite all that is still to be done, finishing a first draft is the most important thing, as nothing else can take place without a finished draft.
To complete the draft, I isolated myself at home over Thanksgiving Break (my wife was out of town), and knocked out the final ten chapters in four days. If you are keeping track, that means 30,000 words in four days as my chapters usually range around 3,000 words each. All told, this draft has take a lot out of me. I felt great when I started working on it this summer, but then by body decided to act up. I’ve had a horrific semester dealing with spinal pain, knee pain, etc. But it is almost over. Only 9 more days. Throughout this never-ending hell that my body forces me to live in, I had to find it within myself to finish the book. So I’m quite happy that I managed to pull it off.
So what is next? Over Christmas Break, I shall be working on an original script for a 50 minute radio drama to be submitted to the International Radio Playwriting Competition hosted by the BBC. The challenge is to write the script for an original radio drama. The winner gets a trip to London to watch the play being recorded and it will air on BBC World Service radio. As a big fan of radio dramas, this is right up my alley. So I have a couple of weeks to figure out a plot that will work.
And the next book? Molly will get another two books devoted to her story. But first, I have another tale to tell. We will travel to Russia on the eve of the Great War, and bear witness to the winds of change which sweep away the old world. It is the story of a struggle to survive amidst the turmoil of the Revolution. Over the next five months, I’ll work on outlining the plot and I’ll begin writing in May when the spring semester ends. I should be finished with the first draft by mid July.
So there you have it, Dear Readers. Thank you to all who have followed along on this journey. And, by way of another update, I received the audio proofs for the Audible version of So Others May Live. It is, of course, amazing. It should hit the shelves around New Year’s, so stay tuned for more updates.
P.S.: Yes, Dear Readers, I know falling in love with a girl in a 130 year old photo isn’t “normal.” All I can say to that is that writer’s aren’t normal anyway. And I can’t shake the feeling that I knew this girl somehow. Maybe…I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. But there you have it.