Now that my new YA book (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23966802-boy-band) is in the hands of my first beta-reader (pre-editing), I’m able to focus all my attention on finishing up the third Cemetery Tours book.
As with all my books, I’m really excited about it. I don’t think an author can really write a story they’re just iffy about. If you’re not excited to share your work, than you probably shouldn’t be sharing it. But I digress.
I will admit that this new Cemetery Tours is different than the first two. I didn’t know it would be, but that’s one of the great things about writing. You can plan out your novel all you want, but you never really know what you’re going to get until you actually write it. Characters play a huge role in shaping a story. You can’t force characters to do something that they just wouldn’t, and I think when writers try to force that, the characters come off as frustrated or tense or just flat-out unbelievable. Sometimes my characters do and say things that I honestly didn’t know I had in me. It’s cool, but it’s also a little weird. What else is buried in there, brain?
As I finished up Chapter 15 the other night, I got to thinking about how much I really enjoy writing these characters and telling their stories, but I’m also constantly worried that this new book won’t live up to the old ones. I’ve gotten such positive feedback from readers about the first two books. What if this new one isn’t as good? What if people don’t like my characters anymore? What if they think this new book is boring? What if, what if, what if?
This new book, I’m discovering, focuses more on relationships of characters and what it’s like to try to live a normal live while constantly being pursued by spirits. I’m enjoying it and I’m learning a lot about my characters, but I’m also afraid that because it’s a bit more low key than the first two, readers just won’t think it’s as good.
But then I remembered one of my favorite quotes by Carol Shields about writing. “Write the book you want to read.” When I started writing Cemetery Tours, I wasn’t writing for an audience. I was writing for me. I didn’t know if readers wanted to read a ghost story. All I knew is that I wanted to read a ghost story. I needed one, because I was in the midst of dealing with my own personal loss. Every single book I have in my head is a book that I want to read. Same with Cemetery Tours 3.
It’s really difficult to not worry about what other people will think, especially when you’re in a field that largely depends on the opinions of others. If I don’t have readers who want to read my books, I don’t have a career. Period. So I do need to write for my readers. But I also need to write for myself. If I enjoy what I write, there’s a chance that others will too. If I don’t like it, I’ll all but guaranteed that no one else will like it either. I’ve always trusted my instincts, and so far, they’ve served me pretty well. I truly hope that they’ll continue to do so, because I have two more Cemetery Tours books planned after this third one, along with about twenty other non-ghost stories. I’m so excited to write and to share them, and I can only hope and pray that you all enjoy reading them as much as I will enjoy writing them.
Love to all! If you’re in the path of Snowmageddon, be safe and stay warm!
These sound amazing! Especially the other non-ghost stories. I wonder what a Jackie book will be like without ghosts 🙂 I’ve always wrote the poetry and stories I couldn’t find in the library. Probably why it’s vain, but I like to read my own stuff sometimes.