So, what have I been doing all these weeks? In terms of fiction writing, that is, not everyday life. I've been lurking in theatres, that's what. Doing research—serious, hard-core research.
Here's the thought process that led me there:
1) Orca, my publisher, has a series (Limelights) on the performing arts. What a great idea. I should write one!
2) I have a pretty good idea about a kid who gets a role in an outdoor summer theatre production. (Pretty good, because we have a local outdoor summer theatre in this neck of the woods and I happen to know a couple of kids who spent some summers there.)
3) I pitch the idea. Orca says yes, and gives me a deadline. Gulp.
4) I have coffee with one of these kids (no longer a kid, but anyway) and we have a nice talk about her memories of what it was like.
5) I start writing, and soon realize that while I know quite a few people who are active in quite a lot of theatre, I actually have no idea how a play gets put together. What's the process? What hap...
Poor Jack. It’s hard to make friends at a new school, keep your marks up and deal with a creepy ghost girl at the same time!
My next novel weaves together an old fairy tale, The Little Match Girl, and a Grade 12 kid named Jack. Like Redwing, my new book is a kind of ghost story. But unlike all my other books, it’s a contemporary story set (mostly) in a world pretty much like yours.
This one has been a long time coming, and we are still searching for a good title (did I mention titles are HARD?) – but I've just sent the 2nd set of revisions back to my editor so we are well on the way.
It's still a long wait -- estimated publishing date is Spring 2017. I'll drop some tantalizing details (haha) between now and then.
Meanwhile, I have another book to write in time for a 2017 publication date! This is something completely different for me -- a title for Orca's LIMELIGHTS series on the performing arts, and believe it or not the first time I've had to write a novel on a deadline. Giddy-...