Monday, I’ll start work on my next book. It’s not the next book you’re likely to read, of course. Publishing is a long process – almost a year – and the follow-up (although not the sequel) to Losing Clementine has been finished for a couple of months. That book, which is currently titled The Short Yet Astounding Fall of Dell Cohen1, was terrifying to write. The “sophomore” book is always when folks stand around with their arms crossed over their chests, a pose their therapists would point out is extremely guarded, and say, sometimes aloud and sometimes to themselves, “Well, can she do it again?” Once is lucky. Twice is a career, it seems. But now I’m sitting down to write the third book, which has no title at all, and feeling much more confident.
There is much about writing books for a living that I’m still getting a handle on. But those things, things to do with marketing and long IRS forms, have nothing to do with actually writing. When I’m alone at my desk with the blank page, I am in my element. That is not to say that every writing day is a good day or that I won’t, with some frequency, lay my forehead down on the edge of the desk for disturbingly long periods of time. But it does mean that deep down I know I’ve got this. I can do it because I’ve done it before and more than once. There’s a lot of comfort in that.
So now I’ll go write the story of the woman seven years disappeared and her father, who goes looking too late.
1Don’t get too attached to the title. These things often change.