Tuesday, March 8, 2011


The word “next” can be rather scary for only having four letters. It combines immediacy (no more time for dilly-dallying, this thing is happening forthwith) and uncertainty (we never know exactly how the future will go). Right now I'm tiptoeing closer and closer to my own big, bold NEXT.

And I'm not entirely sure what it will hold.

For those following my progress on Olympus Gate, the final pre-querying draft is very nearly done. That means it's time for me to be looking ahead to the next project.

Among my options, there's one in particular I feel drawn to. It's about a girl who grants wishes, but who must be very very careful not to let her own stray wishes lose into the universe or she'll risk doing harmful magic that can't be un-wished.

It's about gargoyles too, and martial artists and punk rockers. It's about a charismatic and dangerous boy who is the Omega to the main character's Alpha.

But it's also—and here's the big, scary part—about life in a wheelchair. Because one of the main character's stray wishes gets her badly injured to the point of paraplegia.

So here I am, peering over the border into Nextville and beginning to wonder whether I'm really able to dive into such a huge topic. At this current moment, this book is impossible for me to write. I don't know enough yet. An injury like the one my character sustains has never been part of my world. So in order to do this and do it right, I have a lot to learn.

The idea of doing that research is frightening and humbling. What if I totally misrepresent the experience of dealing with the injury and its consequences? What if people think I'm audacious for even trying?

But then on the other hand, my character is out there, trying to be heard, and without me she'll never have a voice. I hardly even know her yet, but already she is important to me.

So I know I'll take the first step. I'll start the research. Maybe I'll get stuck and find myself deciding to go a different direction. Maybe this will turn out not to be the right project for me. But for now, what comes next is to learn everything I can about this girl and her experience.

What's coming next for you?


  1. Wow - that sounds like an amazing book! I really hope that you're able to find the right path to writing it!

    But I understand the fear of starting a project like this. I'm writing about Japan, and the experiences of Japanese people, and I'm not Japanese myself. I'm so scared of offending or misrepresenting, or even letting my own unconscious prejudice as an American slip into the story. But like you said - this story wanted to be told, and it's my job to make sure it's heard.

    Good luck with whatever you decide! I'm sure it will be amazing.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement! I'd really love to hear more about your Japanese story. Maybe we should share research since one of the other characters in this book is from Japan.

  3. My next is a fantasy MG of epic world/race building proportions. Gosh I love it. Coincidentally, my MC's little sis uses a wheelchair too. She has cerebral palsy. I've never written a physically disabled character before. One of my stories had a character with Downs, but it was easy for me to write because my next door neighbor has Downs and I've been watching and noting his mannerisms for years.

    Don't be worried. You'll do fine. Stay true to your character. Research is fun and interesting--I almost enjoy it as much as writing the actual story. Don't worry about offending anyone--it's your character and she'll have her own way, regardless. I do highly suggest spending time either watching peeps in WCHs or spending time with them for authenticity to lend your character. I think you'll find it a very rewarding experience giving a special needs character a voice.

    I say go for it and never look back! You can always go back and touch it up after beta readers. And if you need one of those, perhaps we can trade later when our stories are finished. Although, won't likely be til later this year for me. :)

    Best of luck!

  4. Sounds like fun! And you're right--research is interesting. Good luck with yours! And thanks for sharing what you're up to.

  5. Audrey, it's totally understandable that you would be feeling a bit worried about what's next. You've spent, what, at least a year totally dedicated to Olympus Gate. Wholeheartedly. It's become a part of you and now it's time to separate yourself from it and start something new. That can always be a bit scary. But it's all part of the process. The writing process and life's process, or progress. I'm sure you're going to do great at whatever you dedicate yourself to next. Whatever that ends up being. Just go with the flow and all will be well. :)

  6. Thanks, Kendra :) And I know you totally understand devoting so much time and energy and love to a story. You're a good book mommy.

  7. Good book mommy? O.o Please explain.
    (You're the first to ever think of me as a mommy, except for my dog and he can't say it aloud)

  8. "A good mommy to your book" is perhaps a better way of saying it. You give it a whole lot of love.

  9. Ohhh! *blush* Gotcha! Thanks for the clarification! :D *heads to the shower with a giggle*