Am I working on one or three?

This is not an uncommon situation – in fact, I should acknowledge how fortunate I am to be a ‘working’ author at all. However, there is something a bit odd, perhaps even awkward, about being in the midst of finalizing, working on finalizing and at the beginning all at the same time.

Swiss Vendetta is in some ways a thing of the past – I’m still out and about in bookstores and libraries talking about Agnes’s first adventure in Violent Crimes – however, what I’m really thinking about is A Well-Timed Murder, her next adventure (set amidst the watch industry in Switzerland). No cover art yet, in fact I’ve not seen the first round of edits….. so I’m in waiting mode.

Did I mention that I’m waiting? The moment an author hits send the waiting begins. I like to think that I’m a patient waiter. I like having some distance before getting this all important feedback from my editor. Too soon and I might not be ready to hear suggestions. Hit it just right and I can read with a fresh eye. Certainly time and distance will have made me re-think some parts of the book (the question is will my editor and I agree on the changes…. back to waiting patiently). I won’t bother fretting (will my editor want changes that I agree with?). I defer to Stephen King on this – and I paraphrase – writer’s write and editor’s edit.

At the same time, I’m well into research for book three. I know what the big theme is, I’m working out the various characters, and have some ideas for the story (beyond the big idea). There’s still time for the story to evolve and change and likely it will look much different when finished that I envision it now, but it is the next big project! This is where I want my mind to be 100%.

On the other hand…. the mental hopper needs time and feeding and when I get A Well-Timed Murder back (today? tomorrow?) I am ready to dive in and rotate a bit backwards in the cycle.

I’m curious, though, how do other authors do this? Wait until one is completely finalized before starting the next? Or is everything always on a middle, simmer burner?

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