I’m at an interesting point, writing-wise: four different stages in four different novels. Sea of Secrets is complete and published, which I still find terrifically exciting. (Ranked #19 on Amazon’s gothic romance Kindles! I’m still doing the Snoopy dance over that.) The first book of my Ash Grove young adult paranormal romance trilogy (and I really need a nice efficient acronym for that) is complete and has been through revision, but I want to revise it further. I’ve just finished drafting book two, Dark Music, and am still at the point where the glow of accomplishment has not been overtaken by the fever to revise. Part of the book-one rewrite will be folding in some changes made necessary by things I did in book two.

And I’m preparing to outline book three, which will be a challenge—the first time I’ve used the concept of alternate realities in my fiction. I’m excited about the possibilities but a little apprehensive, because book two, in some ways, kicked my butt. Here I formally go on record with this vow: never again will I be foolish enough to write a multiple-POV novel out of sequence. Weaving those threads together was a mess, even when I (belatedly) got efficient and started using color-coded index cards for the different plot elements (see photo). Keeping track of multiple realities will, I’m sure, require me to be even more organized . . . which is not my strong suit.

Right now I’m torn between the impulses of wanting to send books one and two out into the world to be read and enjoyed, and worrying that the writing of book three will mean going back and making further changes to the first two books. When do I stop and call them done? I’m a professional perfectionist (i.e., editor), so there will always, always be the temptation to go back and tweak. At some point, though, I’ll have to be a good book parent and let go.

But not today.

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