Ok, in fairness, I wrote another manuscript. The book part will be a few weeks longer yet as it still needs to go through early reads, professional edits, and formatting. But I wrote another book. (Update – the book is done and scheduled for launch on March 26, 2020)
So what, you might be saying. You’re a writer — a novelist — that’s what you’re supposed to do. I thought so too until I tried to write this one.
However, this time was different from the rest.
Perhaps it was the fact that it is the final book in my science fiction trilogy. It was as if my characters refused to share their story with me, knowing it likely was their last.
Perhaps it was the new house or the new job. Maybe my brain needed its old combination of background and routine to get into its groove.
Perhaps it was my family. The kids are getting older now. I am unfortunately finding they aren’t as willing to go to bed before the sun completely sets, just because their mom needs to hit her daily word count. Nor have our weekend become any less full.
Perhaps it was simply me.
I should have finished this manuscript in February. That was my intent. I would take a break from the blog for the holidays and focus, instead, entirely on it. When February passed, I said, eh, it’s a short month anyway, I’m not that far behind.
Weeks stretched into months and still the most glorious words in the writer’s language, ‘the end’ continued to elude me.
I wrote during this time. Don’t get me wrong, but it was a steaming pile of word turd mixed with verbal vomit left behind to fill a blank page and little more. Thanks for that imagery, you might be thinking. Just be glad you weren’t the one expected to clean it up.
This is all to say, I might be late, but I’m still here.
I set a goal — I missed it — but I didn’t let a self-imposed deadline stop me.
My office door opens and a woman with curly brown hair peeks in. “Um, are you ready for me?” she asks with a smile. Not waiting for a reply, she crosses the threshold, with the familiarity of an old friend.
“Hi Charlotte, come right in.” I gesture for her to close the door behind her. Charlotte flops down in a chair with a mug in hand while I rummage around to find the collection of papers stapled together with her name on them. “I can’t believe it is already time to do performance reviews again,” I say, handing her the pages. “How long have we been doing this?”
Charlotte leans back in her seat, scanning my written comments on the first page with a quick glance. “Hmm,” she begins, tapping her lip, “technically it will be five years this October, but I think this is only my second or third one of these.”
She shrugs. “You kind of forgot a few times.”
“Oh, that’s right.” The heat from my cheeks is a better gauge of the severity of my blush than any mirror. “Sorry. All I can say is I was distracted.”
Charlotte leans forward, returning the papers to my desk face down. “It’s fine. I understood. The Project’s success was, is, a huge priority for everyone.”
“It is, but I don’t want you to think I don’t value you too,” I say, nodding at the papers. “You’ve done good work, and I want you to feel like you are contributing.”
Charlotte laughs. “I’m not exactly saving the world over here.” She takes a sip of her beverage.
“I’m serious, Charlotte,” I say, thinking I could go for a coffee too after this is done. “You might not be expected to go on epic quests, but what you do still matters to a whole bunch of people.”
She shakes her head, though the smile remains. “That’s nice of you to say, but really, I’m okay. It’s not like I would want Juliane’s job anyway.” Charlotte shudders. “That woman is a freak.”
“Charlotte,” I chide, imagining the conversation I would have to have with the human resource department later if I had one.
Charlotte’s eyes grow wide as she slaps her hand over her mouth. “That didn’t come out right at all. I meant she’s a workaholic. I didn’t mean to imply I thought her … her … you know … the project made her a freak, which it totally didn’t.” Charlotte’s hand dropped to rest over her heart. She gulps. “I just like having time to spend with my family. That’s all.”
I purse my lips and take a deep breath before speaking again. “Let’s stop talking about Juliane and keep this focused on you. What can I do to help you become more successful this year?”
She looks up at the ceiling in thought. “Well, maybe I could attend a workshop.”
I raise an eyebrow.
“Or two,” says Charlotte, meeting my gaze once more. She chews her lip when I don’t respond. “Three?” she squeaks.
“Think bigger, though I’m making a mental note to revisit your thoughts on a workshop later.”
“Bigger?” Her brows knit. She eyeballs the papers on my desk. Her hand twitches. I can tell she’s itching to give my review a more in-depth read. “But … but … look, I appreciate the vote of confidence and don’t take this the wrong way,” she takes another sip, “but I’m not certain … Kids are only young once. You know?”
“Oh, believe me, I know.” I grin. “Which is exactly why I am so excited.” I pick up the papers. “What if I’ve come up with a way for you to grow within the company while also giving you the opportunity to spend even more time with your family?”
Charlotte cocks her head to the side and looks at me out of the corner of her eye. “How would that work?”
This time it is my turn to lean forward. Opening the papers to the back, I point to the last paragraph. “Because, Charlotte,” I say, my grin threatening to split my face, “before this year is out, I’m giving you … a sequel.”
That’s right, early revisions are all but done and I will be looking for beta readers for my latest contemporary / cozy mystery novel entitled An Uncertain Confidence in the coming weeks.
Charlotte is back in a new story proving happily ever after is a constant work in progress following one disastrous night out. Those interested should send me an email at Allie at alliepottswrites dot com for additional details. You don’t have to have read the first book, but it certainly helps.
This is it. The big day! Project Gene Assist Book Two: The Watch & Wand is finally here.
I am excited to say you may now purchase my latest book at http://authl.it/B07791KJ2Z. While the ebook is exclusive to Amazon, print versions are also available for purchase through Amazon as well as other major retailers.
And if you do purchase, please drop me a note or leave a review. I love hearing from you.
After writing it, and writing about it, for so long, I find I am now at a loss for words, not because they will not come, but because there are no words to express the gratitude I feel for everyone who has helped me in transforming this idea into words on a printed page.
The term indie author is misleading as there is nothing independent about it.
You guys are the best. I couldn’t have done it without you.
The often funny and yet always talented Phil Taylor was kind enough to let me stop by his blog, The Phil Factor, to talk about some of the dangers I didn’t anticipate when I first started out writing. Perhaps if I’d known, I might have done things differently.
I’ve turned off comments on this post and invite you to click the link below. I also encourage you to stick around after reading and check out Phil’s other posts too.
THE TOP 5 DANGERS OF BEING A WRITER by Allie Potts 1. Government Watch Lists: The Watch & Wand is set in a post-apocalyptic world where all but the most basic technology is outlawed. As a resul…
Once upon a time a mother and daughter went out for a walk. They chatted along the way, mostly about the daughter’s progress on her latest book project which was underway, but was far from done. The mother innocently asked a question about one of the supporting characters.
A year later, the words End of Book Two, were typed on an entirely different book than the one originally planned, but a book that was so much better than that first draft.
For that, all I can say is thanks, mom.
Fifteen years have passed. The future no longer seems as bright. Between a war declared on all but the most basic technology, worldwide economic collapse, and a plague-spurred global panic, governments have collapsed leaving law and order to be defined by those left behind. Stephen knows he should be grateful, but can’t help wishing his life was more than survival.
That was until he met a girl on the run from a group known as the Watch.
Now, caught between rival factions with their own hidden agendas, Stephen has no choice but to go on a mission to reclaim a piece of missing technology.
He is told the device is the key to a better future, but in the new order, one person’s salvation can be another’s total destruction.
Available December 2017.
I have a few spots remaining for those interested in receiving an advance copy for reviews. Those interested should contact me at allie AT alliepottswrites.com.
Want to catch up before the big release?
The Fair & Foul: Project Gene Assist Book One can be found at here
“Allie Potts does a marvelous job of creating a group of characters that even above their arrogant brilliance are still only human. Even when all seems lost, and things are piling up against our heroine, Allie consistently throws in a few surprises with things both fair and foul. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat. Well done, Ms. Potts!”
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