It’s been over four years since the ebook version of ELIXIR BOUND came out and over three years since the paperback version released (so forever in terms of publishing a companion novel). I’m sad to report that I’m only about 2/3 finished with the draft of the companion novel ELIXIR SAVED. And even once the draft is done, I’ll still need to revise and such. So why exactly is it taking me so long to write the second Elixir book?
Well, it’s complicated (isn’t everything!?). For starters, there are the less-than-stellar sales stats of BOUND. I wasn’t expecting a best-seller or anything, but it’s been hard to press on with a second book when the first has low sales. So, yeah, I’ve worked on other projects in between. And, no, I don’t write for the sales or the money, but the validation of selling books doesn’t suck.
There’s also life. I have kids and do freelance work (and blog). I like reading books and watching TV and getting out every once in awhile to do grown-up things. Writing novels is an important part of my life and I’ve gotten more consistent with actually, ya know, writing, but it doesn’t always take top priority.
Then there’s the fact that I’m not a very fast writer. Even when I’m in a good flow and I’ve been writing consistently, my word counts are just not that high. I’ve done a lot of things with the drafting of SAVED to try and speed up the process. I mapped out all the scenes I still need to write. I’ve set timers in order to write without editing myself for that set amount of time. I did a modified NaNoWriMo in November to try and finish this draft.
And now I’m here on the blog writing about how I’m not writing the book. Blah, blah, blah, wah, wah, wah! I know…but all those reasons I mentioned above are not the main reason why it’s taking me so long to write ELIXIR SAVED.
The real reason why it’s taking me so long to write the second Elixir book is because one of the main characters is based on my sister Kylene, who passed away at the age of 16. My intention when I wrote BOUND was to give Kylene a fantasy adventure of her own. I started the book in her POV (point of view), but it was too damn hard to write, so it ended up in the POV of her sister. It’s been almost 15 years since she passed away and it’s still hard to write this story, her story. It feels so presumptuous and impossible to do her justice in what are ultimately my words. It’s emotionally draining and terrifying.
But it’s a story I know I have to tell…eventually. It would be far worse for me to never tell it than to have a hard time doing it.
So I keep reminding myself that I’m not writing from Kylene’s POV. That’s impossible. Only she could do that. Instead, I’m writing from the POV of a character that’s inspired by Kylene. It may seem like a small distinction, but it makes all the difference in be being able to persist in drafting this novel. Though it doesn’t necessarily make it easier.
It’s a process that refuses to be rushed. I do my best to push myself to continue the task, but I’ve come to realize it’s just gonna take time. I’ll keep slowly working on it (while I also work more efficiently on other novels) and one day it will be done. Well, as done as any book ever is.
Thank you to anyone who’s read ELIXIR BOUND and/or inquired about a follow up book. It coming…one of these years!