2018 came and went, and my third book, The Innermost Thoughts of Cokie Morimoto, needed so much more time to be born.
In order to give the book’s second/parallel plot timeline more interesting details (Cokie enters an alternate universe in a video game set in medieval Japan and its post-civil war destruction), I ended up getting sucked into 4 months of research. Really fun and necessary, but also really time-consuming.
After that, I wrote diligently, adding a thousand words a week for a few months, all while juggling a day job, other writing projects, performing and speaking at events, and DIY home repair projects. Then I got stuck. The book draft had gotten unwieldy; I’d added yet a third alternate plot-line, but it was taking the focus away from the core story. I realized that about 8,000 words of what I’d written last summer/fall were overkill, and I needed to cut them to tighten the focus. When working with multiple plots, juggling can get crazy, and it can take power away from the main thrust of the story. Cutting that big chunk is a decision I feel good about, but it left a void where more work needs to be done.
I’m now filling out other parts that are too thin, and making sure that the movement between the main story line and alternate timeline are more fluid. When I’m reading a book, there’s nothing I hate more than being jarred or confused when moving from chapter to chapter and getting lost, so I’m trying to keep that from happening to you, my readers.
Will it be worth it? Yes. It’ll be a much stronger book, and I think people will really identify with Cokie. It’s tempting for me, as an author, to feel like these setbacks are failures, but they’re not. They’re just speed bumps. The book will happen. And it will be worth it.
What’s next for my fans? I plan on sharing book excerpts soon to get you excited. And a cover reveal will happen by summer. Wish me luck, cross your fingers, and stay tuned!