Friday, January 31, 2020

Bits and Bobs

In general, I juggle a lot of tasks. I have a lot of energy, I enjoy being occupied, and people who know me often remark on how much I get done in a day—or a week. Most of the time, too, I make it work, balancing the editing and the writing and the podcast and the various tasks I perform for Five Directions Press. I’ve learned when to say “no,” and I do.

But I’m not superhuman, and sometimes the pretty juggling pins crash to the floor. This was one of those weeks. So instead of the usual themed blog post, I’m offering some hints of what to expect in the weeks to come.

Interviews: I talked with Gabrielle Mathieu about her new YA fantasy novel, Girl of Fire, just before the New Year. That interview will post on her New Books Network channel, possibly with a cross-post to mine, in a few weeks. Meanwhile, I talked with Joan Schweighardt yesterday about her latest historical fiction trilogy, Rivers—Before We Died and Gifts for the Dead are out, with River Aria to follow sometime this year. I expect to see that interview on New Books in Historical Fiction next week or the week after.

Reading: I’ve been expanding my acquaintance with the fictional detective Ian Rutledge, the creation of Charles Todd. I made Ian’s acquaintance in last year’s The Black Ascot and interviewed the author team that created him this past fall (about another series of theirs). Since then I’ve read the first book in the Rutledge series, purchased the second, and am currently reading another Rutledge novel, The Confession, on Overdrive, courtesy of my local public library. Next week I’ll be discussing Ian’s latest adventure, A Divided Loyalty, here on this blog.

Blog: In addition to the Divided Loyalty post, you can expect to see a written Q&A with the English professor, film director, and novelist Philip Cioffari on Valentine’s Day, followed by individual posts on the Schweighardt and Mathieu interviews. That should take us into March.

Writing: This, of course, is the fun part, and although I have to restrict it mostly to weekends, I’ve actually made great progress. Song of the Shaman is out (as is Song of the Siren, if you missed that last year), and the third book in that series, Song of the Sisters, is essentially done. I’m revising the third draft chapter by chapter with comments from my writing group, but it’s a complete novel with a story and character arcs. I’m starting to think about Songs 4 (Song of the Sinner—Solomonida’s story), but in the meantime P.K. Adams and I have written the first half of the rough draft of our Tudors meet Romanov ancestors murder mystery, tentatively titled These Barbarous Coasts. We’re keeping the details under wraps for now, but stay tuned.

That’s it on the novel-writing front. The rest is family and exercise and work, not to mention boring tasks like housework and enjoyable tasks like putting food on the table. But those, as they say, are a story for another day—or, in this case, another venue.

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