Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Voices Are Baaaaaaaack!

Today is the official release date for MURDER IN VEIN, the first book in my 3rd mystery series – a vampire mystery series, no less. The book has been unofficially out for a couple of weeks, but today’s the official – Ta Da! It’s Here! – day.

Sheesh – who’d of thought? Huh?

Recently on Lois Winston’s blog I wrote about being flexible when it comes to changing your original plan for your writing career. Plan A was my Odelia Grey series. Plan B was adding the Ghost of Granny Apples series. Plan C involved the vampires. Flexibility is a good thing. But to what degree?  Just how far can one bend before one breaks?

Maybe the title for this blog should really be “Somebody Stop Me Before I Hurt Myself.”

You see, I’m hearing voices again. Well, truthfully, I never stopped hearing voices. And just to be clear, I’m not talking about the type of voices that tell me to go to the roof of a high rise and start picking off people on the street below with a rifle sporting a telescopic sight. I’m not even talking about the voices that tell me that another piece of pie won’t hurt. No. I’m talking about the voices only writers hear. The voices that whisper new and hopefully clever ideas for books and characters.

For the past couple of years I’ve had an idea for another book percolating in my brain. It’s edgier and darker than anything I’ve written yet. I’m not even sure it’s a series. Could be a stand alone. I’m not even sure it’s a mystery. Could be a thriller. Could be a character study about people and their secrets. Lately, this book has been nagging at me. I can see scenes floating in the deep space of my brain like orbital debris. I keep batting it away. I tell it I’ll get back to it later, after I turn in vampire book #2, do the final edits on Odelia book #6 and finish Granny Apples book #3. But I can see it tapping its fictional foot in impatience, arms crossed, clearly in a snit.

If that wasn’t bad enough, I also have whirling around in my head an idea for a fun, romantic caper series, that could also be a mystery series. It’s luring me with laughs and the promise of a good time.

Both of the above ideas have gotten into a shoving match to see which will be deemed Plan D and which Plan E. Off on the sidelines, the vampires are snarling with bared fangs. Granny’s annoyed and threatening to never materialize again. And Odelia … well, I can’t really repeat in polite company what Odelia has to say about the whole matter.

And the thing is, I have two other book ideas that are also waiting in the wings, but with a lot more grace and patience that these other two.

Okay Plans D and E contestants, here’s how it’s going down. If and when I have an open slot in my writing schedule, one of you will have your day at the keyboard. It won't be today. Nor tomorrow. It won't even be during the rest of this calendar year. So cool your jets before my brain freezes and crashes like the old and overtaxed hard drive it is and I’m forced to hit my mental delete button, sending you hurtling into the black hole of forgotten ideas.

And, trust me, no one wants that.

Yesterday, on this very blog, Alice Loweecey discussed the same topic, that of controlling new ideas that threaten our focus on our current work in progress. Alice likened her buds of promising plots to runaway, aromatic herb plants, while I compared mine to psychotic episodes.  Obviously, Alice's ideas are more mannerly and come from the right side of the tracks. But whether your new ideas are members of a gardening club or members of a motorcycle gang, the struggle to keep our attention on the task at hand without squelching fresh creativity is something that plagues us all.

Sue Ann Jaffarian
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Mark said...

New books? New series? I hope they are patient enough because they sound good, especially the romantic caper series.

Not that I know which series you should give up for it. And I'm not even going to suggest you write faster. I already don't know how you do it.

Lisa Bork said...

Congratulations on your new release, Sue Ann! And may I say you look particularly smashing in your author photo posted on Amazon?!

I don't know if it's Alice and your posts, but I'm hearing voices now, too--new to the ones that are always saying, "Mommy?"

Dru said...

Congrats on your book release!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Congratulations on your release, Sue Ann!

The ideas never really stop, do they? The only thing holding us back is time! Wish we could add some more hours to the day.

Lois Winston said...

Congrats on release day, Sue Ann! As for those voices in your head, isn't it nice to be part of a group who understands and doesn't think you're crazy? Makes me wonder how many really great writers never got a chance to shine in years gone by because their concerned families had them locked up for conversing with their characters.

P.S.: Thanks for the blog plug!

Kathleen Ernst said...

Congrats on release day, Sue Ann! As for the voices...I'd say start a file for each project, scribble down notes as they come, and toss them in. At such moments I'm always afraid I'm going to lose my idea if I don't capture it. Once it's down, my subconscious seems to relax...until the next time.

Terri Bischoff said...

I wish the voices in my head would give me a book plot ;)

But seriously, Sue Ann... I don't know how you keep this pace. And to have more ideas fighting for attention! I don't know how you keep track of them all.

Darrell James said...

Congratulations on the official release of "Murder In Vein"! I know it's going to be a hit, Sue Ann.

I sometimes think I'm just one idea away from being strapped into the sleeveless jacket. Maybe there's a book in it... "The Curse of Creativity". (Uh-oh, there I go again.)

Keith Raffel said...

Sue Ann, writing ideas are like a baby filling his/her diaper, meeting an attractive potential girl/boyfriend, phone calls from my wife's friend Shawn. They never happen when convenient!

Big congrats on Murder in Vein. And I agree with Lisa, too. The picture of you on the cover looks great.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Thanks, all! Murder In Vein seems to be off to a great start.

Sorry, Lisa, but if I was hearing "Mommy?" that would be a real psychotic episode. Or it means my cats can talk - equally disturbing.

Kathleen, I do write my ideas down, but it seems as soon as I do, they take on an even more blood and bone reality and bug me more.

Somehow I've managed to bludgeon all these fictional wannabes into submission for the time being. I think it was having vampires at my back that did it.

Jess Lourey said...

Congratulations, Sue Ann!

Alice Loweecey said...

Congrats on your new release, Sue Ann! And that's the first time I've been accused of coming of the right side of the tracks, LOL! Let's schedule a playdate for our rogue story ideas. Maybe they'll behave for a few hours. :D

Vicki Doudera said...

Well Sue Ann, I have to echo the comments of Mark, Terri, and several others and say HOW DO YOU DO IT? Very impressive and congrats on Murder In Vein. I look forward to having time to read it!

Jessie Chandler said...

Congrats Sue Ann! And keep those voices down to a dull roar!

G.M. Malliet said...

You inspire, Sue Ann.