Yessirreebob, I’m at that point again. Finished with writing and editing recent projects, and here I am, crouching in the corner, sucking my thumb, and rocking myself. One would think that having finally relieved myself of so many weeks of composing, revising, and editing meant that I’d be dancing around, whooping, gorging on chocolate, and reading every book that’s in my Kindle. But no.
This is the point that I both love and dread because, while I am free to do whatever I want now that Damocles’ sword has been put away (for the time being), I’m also at my most vulnerable insofar as deciding on what book to write next.
It’s the equivalent of that superstition regarding sneezing, i.e., when you sneeze, it’s believed that your soul leaves your body temporarily, hence the “Bless you!” response from others to prevent any demonic takeover of your temporarily soulless state. In my case, the soul’s elsewhere with no word yet as to when it wants to come back, and those demons are eyeing me like a slab of prime beef.
I’ve been wringing my hands over how to approach any future historical fantasy books. Should I slave away over a novel in a genre that continues to be overlooked by the market, or should I just cut my losses and keep those stories no more than short stories or novelettes to ease my grief in the promo department? I’ve been having the darnedest time deciding; every time I think that I’ve finally settled on a firm choice, the other side starts nagging me again about the upsides of writing a story in that form.
I certainly would hate to think that Renfred’s Masquerade and the Desmond and Garrick series would be the only novel-length historical fantasies I have to offer. But on the other hand, they don’t really enjoy the same kind of word-of-mouth notoriety that my Masks series enjoys. As with other writers who go through these crises of confidence, I can’t help but wonder why I should go through all that effort writing a novel that’ll fall under people’s radar, anyway.
For a few months now, I’ve been tinkering around with at least three possible stories that I can write for my next historical fantasy book, but it appears that the market’s reluctance to acknowledge this genre is feeding me all kinds of ideas that’re hampering my forward movement. “Do it out of love for that genre, not the market,” wise people would say. Of course I do exactly that, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that passion for something makes the end result any easier to deal with.
** Scenes from Tous Les Matins du Monde (a gorgeous and heartbreaking movie) **
By and large, the plotbunny I’ve pretty much settled on is an original fairy tale set in France. Looking at my notes on that story, it appears that I’ve got enough material for a novel, but again…
Incidentally, I’ve also decided not to make Helleville a series.