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The Story Behind the Stories of 2020

I had big plans late last year.

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I spent yesterday naming characters for the 9th book in my Project Enterprise series. 

It’s a weird thing, naming grownup “babies,” trying to figure out who they are, and what they look like. It will take me a while to understand how they fit together in the story (and some might not make it in), but it felt good to have the “meeting.”

That’s how it feels to me, like a meeting of people who already exist and I’m just getting to know them, getting them to trust me enough to share their story with me. We’re all shy at first because trust takes time, but I’m starting to see the main characters more clearly. 

I like that. I like being back in this place.

I’m not the only creative who has struggled with 2020. My muse has been as elusive as my characters. 

I had big plans late last year. I was going to add installments to my current ongoing series (Project Enterprise, The Big Uneasy) and add two side projects. Readers have been asking me for a long time (um, fourteen years) for a follow up to Out of Timeand I have another standalone (i.e. lonely book —> Dangerous Dance) that would like a book buddy. And of course, a Pets in Space story.

I started off the year strong and produced Just in Time, the followup to Out of Time. It released in August, the paperback version releasing in Sept and the audio coming in Oct! And Pets in Space® 5 will release Oct 6th (yay!). But the rest of my production schedule ran off the track. 

I’ve come to terms with the fact that 2020 is…2020. And I’m thrilled to have finished Just in Time in a mere 14 years (haha). And I kind of released a Big Uneasy story (Fais Do Do Die) in January, but it feels like cheating because I wrote it at the end of 2019 and just waited until after the holidays to release it. 

But unless my muse really kicks things into high, Project Enterprise 9 won’t release until 2021 (and it might be glad about not releasing in 2020). I don’t have the…heart to go back to New Orleans right now, even in my imagination. I should probably work on the gothic to go with Dangerous Dance, but that is a huge mental shift to go from time travel/historical to gothic. It’s a bit like trying to take a struggling car around a sharp curve. Lol (I did pick up a couple of gothic deals to see if my brain might be more amenable to making the switch, but so far its still kind of in a 2020 hunker.)

And I’ve added a twist to my production by finishing Just in Time because it ended with a few threads still not resolved. So now I apparently have another series: The Out of Time Stories. 

I know authors who could release a book in all these series in half a year or less more without breaking a sweat.

I am not one of them. 

Part of the problem is the switch in writing gears (from scifi romance to romantic suspense mystery to time-traveling historical to gothic…). Yeah, I did it to myself. 

The other problem is my process. I write “seat of the pants,” which basically means I make it up as I go along. I mean, it is fiction, so making it up is what you do, but it is how I make it up that causes the problem. Lol

When I try to plot ahead, things just don’t go well. Think of it as 2020-ing my writing process and maybe you’ll understand why it is such a bad idea. Lol 

So that’s the story behind all the stories of 2020. 

Obviously, I am working on Project Enterprise 9, but if you had a vote with my muse, which book do you wish I’d work on after that?

Perilously yours,

Pauline

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