I’ve been asked the question at least a hundred times: “When’s your next book coming out?” My pat answer, up to this point, has been, “Soon, I hope.” Here's the real answer.
I injured the radial nerve in my right arm early this spring, and the damage was so severe that I was unable to use my hand for three plus months without experiencing severe pain. Since I’m right-handed, it meant putting most of my life on pause. It was impossible to hold a pen or paintbrush, and typing was nothing short of miserable. Any force, any weight put on it whatsoever, left me whimpering. Even now, months later, there’s a hot stab in my outer palm as my fingers drift over the keys.
There was no choice but to take a break from writing, which meant stopping smack-dab in the middle of my edit of Bloodline: Broken (the unpublished third novel in my Bloodline series). I binge write, usually penning a manuscript in three or four weeks, and tend to edit in a similar manner. I don’t take many notes other than character lists, preferring to keep the story in my head until it falls to paper. Broken was right there, just waiting to be fleshed out—and then out of nowhere, I was scheduling doctor appointments and wearing a brace on my hand 24/7. Real life took precedence, and fiction had to wait.
I had several people suggest voice recognition software as a means to continue writing. I have always been a shy person, more comfortable being the listener in a conversation than the one carrying it. My brain needs time to mull over my thoughts, or they'll trip over my tongue on their way out. Speaking the story I intended to tell just wouldn’t have come out the same. Verbal communication has never been, nor will it ever be, my strong suit.
Written communication, however, is something else entirely. I think; my fingers type; a story emerges. That is my writing process—thought to page. If the cumbersome element of speech were to be added, I would lose the fluidity that I have worked so hard to attain. I felt that taking a hiatus from the thing that has come to define me would be more beneficial than attempting to rewire my method.
Considering how Broken has taken shape, I’m glad I went with my instincts. I know there are a few loyal fans out there who are dying to know when they can get their hands on book 3. My goal is to have it out sometime in 2015, sooner rather than later. Until then, have a little (more) patience, and I'll do my part to get you your story.