In 2015 I released the last two books in my Seasons of Faith series. After spending a little over four years with these characters I feel as if I am moving away from dear friends. I have a number of other stories that have been begging to be told, but that hasn’t made it any easier to move on. Spending time with Lizzie, Ian, Jeffrey, Michelle, and Stephen is comfortable. They aren’t predictable, but I had developed a relatively clear picture of their future. In fact, there have been a couple of ideas for new stories with some of these characters that started developing at the edge of my mind as this series wound down.
Shortly after I finished Christmas Vows and had everything in place for its release, I became very sick. I didn’t know a body could take in as many antibiotics as mine did and still not get better. Between the medicine and the natural immune system reaction, I was exhausted and felt unable to connect with anything beyond a surface level. I knew I needed to get started on my next book, but I simply couldn’t focus on anything more complex than a formulaic television show. I’m pretty sure I have now seen every Hallmark Channel Christmas movie.
In January I began to regain my strength only to have it sapped out of me through extra hours at the day job. My energy languished until the last week of the month when I had the chance to get together with my friend Mike for a couple hours of conversation. He’s a musician and has been honing his photography skills over the past few years. A couple of years after we first met, we spent hours creating a multi-media show, maybe not to rival Epcot’s Illuminations but to reflect it in some ways. The plan was for Mike to take this show to a resort area in New Hampshire he’d performed at in the past and then maybe on the road to other venues. We’d work until three or four in the morning and never get tired. Getting together with him always seems to energize me and renew the creative spark, even if we aren’t creating something.
Ideas began to percolate in my mind and by the time I sat down at my computer, I was ready to start writing again. Virginia is my current project. This will be the third book in the Coastal Chronicles.
While this book will have many of the characters from Jessie and will carry on some of that storyline, it will still be a book that stands on its own. I grabbed snatches of time and started to age Virginia and Jessie, but I still wasn’t sure where the new book would start.
Now, here’s how I know I’m truly recovered from my November illness. Driving home from a day of shopping with my mom, a scene started to form in my mind. A couple of days later I was at the computer again and the original scene grew into three chapters. I’m now thinking about the story and wondering what the characters are doing, even when I’m at the day job. My commute is more exciting because I’m starting to see the world through Virginia and Jessie. I feel alive again and can’t wait for my next vacation so I can devote myself to writing. So, if you see me walking down the street with a silly grin on my face, don’t worry, I’m not crazy, I’m just a writer.
I forgot to mention that Summer Storms is currently free
Jessie is on sale for 99 cents.