“The Last Page” was always intended as the first half of something bigger.
Well, I finished the rough draft of that bigger thing on Thursday and it feels pretty damned “ticky” to have the whole story out *at last* (minus the one scene I skipped in my dash for the end). Right now the manuscript has settled its amorphous girth at about 125,000 words but it’ll get just a bit fatter before I call it done.
The second half of “The Last Page” is tentatively entitled “Black Bottle” and its completion puts bookends on the pair of novels I envisioned so long ago. The overall plot has been circling my brain since 1996. To have the whole thing out now, on virtual paper, is a feeling that’s hard to describe.
I still have a significant amount of work to do. Plenty of polishing, insertions, deletions, revisions and whatnot but at the moment, I’m just happy to have it more or less “done.”
Nearing the end, I’ve started looking toward the future…with the best facsimile of optimism that I am capable of mustering.
I have a short story that acts as a tie-in to the second book. Once I finish this revision pass, I think I’ll do a bit of polishing on it and try to find it a home. I have two other shorts that could also use a bit of attention before I submit. Then what? Hmmm…
I’m not going to lie to you. Right now, I’m tossing around a handful of ideas, talking about some of them with friends, and waiting for the chaff to fall out. As a new author whose first book isn’t even out yet, it’s super hard not to look forward with some trepidation and anxiety. What if I’m a failure, blah, blah, meow, meow? I mean, it feels so pretentious to think of myself as an established author at this point, and be planning my next book even without the promise of another deal.
I’m truly grateful that Tor has taken this huge chance on my writing. Signing a two book deal? I know it’s just business for them and they believe it’s worth the risk. But for me, it’s the chance of a lifetime. The one I was waiting for.
Let me be clear. Some days I read what I’ve written and I believe I deserve a career as a writer. Other days lend themselves to humility. It’s just part of being human I guess. It’s my duty to feel this way, to deal with it and to (hopefully) move on to my next book, and then my next, etc.
Wish me luck.
I disabled comments on this blog because I’m a lazy S.O.B. who can’t be bothered with sorting through flames or spam. But, your warm wishes or questions are always welcome by email, cuz you know…I’m just a guy at a computer that wants to share stories. Even if you hate my guts, the email form is still there. And either way, your mail might give me something cool to blog about.