I’ve been reading way too many news stories lately about people who have learned a new language or how to play a musical instrument during quarantine. Those stories should be inspiring but instead they left me feeling like a loser because all I’ve managed to accomplish during the pandemic is to grow my hair out. (And even that’s incomplete–the last layer won’t reach chin length until probably Mother’s Day.)
Except for a brief stint back in March, when I freaked out and didn’t get much done besides obsessively reading about the virus, I’ve been reasonably focused but I don’t have much to show for it except failed or incomplete projects.
One of the failed projects was the original version of The Demon Wore Stilettos. In its original incarnation, the book revolved around an author who sold her soul to the devil to make the New York Times bestseller list. The story became ridiculously complicated (three couples, three romance arcs, six character arcs and way the heck too many plot lines). In July I gave up on that premise and started over. I took one of the subplots, a second chance at love story featuring demons Samael and Lilith, and created a separate story. That book is now about 75% of the way to a first draft. I would be finishing it up very soon except…
Last Monday I found myself thinking about my Faustian author again. In a flash of inspiration, all the problems I had with the original book disappeared. With Sam and Lilith’s story stripped away, I could see the bones of the original book very clearly. Since then I’ve been writing like a madwoman (except for Christmas Eve, which I spent handing gifts to shivering grandchildren on my back porch), typing until my back and shoulders burn so much I have to quit for the day.
I may still run into some kind of showstopper issue, but I’m feeling pretty good about the book’s chances. With a few more months of quarantine-level focus, I expect to finish both demon stories before spring.
With any luck, I’ll release three books in 2021–two demon stories (tentatively titled The Demon Wore Stilettos and The Demon’s Secret Baby) and Girl’s Best Friend, the first book in a new Contemporary romance series set in Russet Springs, a small town in Ohio.
So take that, all you newly minted guitar players.