I read a book called On Writing once by Stephen King. In it, he suggested that once you finish a book, you should start writing the next one immediately, or something to that nature.
Easier said than done.
If you have been so kind as to purchase Rosalind from the Kindle Free Network (it is free until Thursday), you will understand that I might be a little worn out. Not by the length of time it took to write a 60,000 word novel, but the intensity and darkness of the subject matter. It took a lot out of me. And it was not a subject that I chose lightly.
The story of Rosalind stemmed from another story called Hollow Hill, which I started writing in 2006. After six years and 283 pages (talk about unproductive), I looked at the page I was on and asked myself, why is there a rift between Susan and Maggie? The answer came to me immediately: Susan is not Maggie’s mother; Rosalind was.
Who the hell was Rosalind?
So I switched gears. When I started writing Rosalind’s story, she told me who she was. It was a horrible experience. As a father of two wonderful daughters, let me tell you, it was horrible. I’m using the word horrible here. (Thank you Jack Nicholson!)
But something else happened. I started to sympathize with her. I cared about her. This was the first time that I ever cared about a character that I created. Over the next two months, I let her tell me what to do, while I stood there throwing rocks at her.
Did I feel guilty? You bet. Did I have to stop at any point because of what I was doing to her? You bet. Did I ever cry for Rosalind? You bet.
But now that Rosalind’s story is complete, I know now who Maggie really is. And I now know what to do: throw away nearly three-hundred pages of her life. If I don’t, I’m lying to anyone who reads Hollow Hill (although I am thinking about calling the next and final book Maggie).
So here I sit, staring at a blank page, desperately craving a Prozac cocktail. And here I will sit until Maggie’s story is told.