Yep, I hear you, Dalí, some things just don’t make sense.
How can someone with six novels on the market, soon to be seven, be a secret novelist? I’ll tell you, because I live a weird double life. I have a magical internet life, where I have a fancy website, people buy my books, and I get to chat with awesome peeps from everywhereland about books, and Spain, and boats and all the lovely things that fill my head.
Then there’s real life. I’m not knocking ‘the real world’, I have a great life. Four beautiful sons, a wonderful community, exciting career promotions just a few weeks away. I’m surrounded by people I trust and respect and the future has plenty of exciting possibilities (like getting away from my desk to go paddleboarding).
Because my magical book life and real life are so different, everyone I know face-to-face knows me as… well… me. I’m the mother, the teacher, the sailor, the parent helper, and so on. I sat down with someone I have known for three years recently and she said, ‘wow, you write books?’ People don’t know that about me. If there is a shirt I should be wearing for promotion, let me know. So yes, while I’m playing real-life Caroline, no one can see book-life Caroline.
So, with that out of the way, shouldn’t writing the seventh book be easy?
François Arnaud’s super sexy/smug/sulky Cesare Borgia face says it all. It really isn’t. The first book I wrote took 18 months, I was a baby in the land of writing, and the first edition deserves to be burned. Now, in its current state, I love it. would I edit the life from Night Wants to Forget given half the chance? Hell yeah. Fortunately, I have no time for that. Then I wrote Blood in the Valencian Soil. Took a year from first word to on sale. I burst out Violent Daylight in only eight months, then Vengeance in the Valencian Water in the same time. I powered through Luminous Colours of Dusk in only six months – it was the third book in the Canna Medici series; I knew the characters inside and out. Then write the short novella of the Canna prequel Cries of Midnight in just two months, in my spare time. Series done. Do I mourn the characters? Nope. They are done, their ending is written.
But Blood in the Valencian Soil and Vengeance in the Valencian Water were missing a limb. Death in the Valencian Dust, the final part of the Secrets of Spain series, needed to be released. I had one more book left in the lives of Luna and Cayetano. I had gained so much more in the way of knowledge about Spain and wanted to share. I wrote the book last year, a total of 43 days spread over ten weeks (real-life Caroline was busy). Now, the book needs to go through the final readings and editing critiques to be ready for readers.
So why can’t I finish?
I have written six books. I have fretted about each one and everyone reassured me. Do I have writer’s block, about characters I know so well they are like blood to me? The book is done, so traditional writers block, like failing to start, failing to create a book twist, or blockage of ideas doesn’t apply.
Every time I work on my book, all I can hear are people (imaginary, with British accents) telling me my book sucks. That chapter’s boring, who cares about historical detail if isn’t interesting, you should have just written smut because that’s what people like, there’s too much romance (seriously, the romance rating of this book is low), where are the vampires, you name it, I can hear it being said.
There seems to be no advice on why I feel this way. There is so much in the way of advice for newbies – the how’s and why’s of writing and then publishing, plot ideas, how to engage readers, how to overcome plot issues – but nothing for when you’ve passed all the learner steps of being a writer. I worry that if I’m tired of the characters, will readers feel the same way? Or is it because I know how it ends for Luna Montgomery and her big plans? Is that what makes the work boring? I hope so. Readers however, need to read to find out. The book ends the way I want it to end for Luna and Cayetano. I’ve been with Luna for five years and I want things to work out a certain way. This book must be written.
Anyone want to read the book for me?