Change of Pace

Last weekend I sent the latest final draft of The Twin Jinn and the Alchemy Machine to my agent Spencer. I say that because although I’m happy with the novel I know my work is not done.

Now what?

I have a few choices. My next Twin Jinn book — for middle grader readers and beyond — will be set in Taos, New Mexico, where I live. I also want to try my hand at a YA book using the parents, Mira and Elwin, when they are in their teens. In the world I’ve created, jinn age differently than humans. The twins are 11 by jinn years but 111 by human. So, I figure if Mira is 16, the novel will be set in 1850, which is a good era.

But before I delve into either I am returning to an adult novel, The Swanson Shuffle. It is the first I wrote. As I told people at a reading this summer, I once heard novels are like waffles. Sometimes you have to throw out your first. But then, there is the option to rewrite.

The novel’s plot? A woman leaves her dead-end job and relationship to work as a live-in staff member at a psychiatric house. The novel is inspired by my own experience although it was nothing like what happens to the main character.

The Swanson Shuffle is different than the writing I do for young readers. I go to a different place — darker, edgier, and the humor is definitely black. I return there when I give my other novels a rest or like this time, I am ready to start something new and need a short break.

I have drafts of other versions and the one I am working on, now a first-person, present tense. The title has gone from Walking in Place to Crazy Daisy to The Swanson Shuffle. Before I began this post, I reached page 230 in the novel. I will be happy to get a good solid Chapter 13 before I leave it again.


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