Over the last three years, I have written many first drafts. Some have been published, some will be published, some will never see the light of day. One of them was supposed to be just one. Instead, Alvin’s Farm turned into six novels! I will never say never, but a six-book series wasn’t ever in my wildest dreams.
I wrote the manuscripts from March 2009-November 2010. Two were for NaNoWriMo, and actually the series is two trilogies. After releasing For God and Country, I took a deep breath, then jumped into Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where all the books are set. Until the end of the year, that’s where I’ll be, even if I’m currently writing about outer space, the Vietnam and Iraq conflicts in November. My head is spinning with Cassels, Smiths, Shumachers, Sheltons… Plenty of S surnames, a theme. Other topics include Iraq (something about that war sticks with me, not sure why), the recession, medical marijuana, nature vs nurture. And of course afghans, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and Rae’s pound cake. When I wrote the first novel, lemon pound cake was as innocuous as Oregon’s rain. I had no clue it would matter later on. But then I wasn’t planning on writing a series in the first place.
Allowing the mystery is probably one of my favorite parts of being a writer. Another is incredible satisfaction after publishing a novel. I felt a huge wave after Memories of Home (Alvin #3). I can’t dream of the sensation when The Timeless Nature of Patience is released. That last book is currently under revision, one of my personal faves. The next few months will be full of those tales, but as California’s summer seems never-ending, perhaps conjuring Oregon’s lush countryside will do me good.
And if not, I can dream of Rae’s pound cake. Lemon isn’t the only type she bakes.