My Characters Are Screaming At Me–Shut Them Up!

So, I’ve finished my mammoth parade of new October releases over at Tor.com (if you haven’t looked at it, check out the more than 100 book summaries in sci fi, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, epic fantasy, and young adult). Just scroll on down to find your genre. I’ll have mini interviews with YA authors Sarah Beth Durst and the awesome Beautiful Creatures team of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl coming up next week.

In the meantime, I’m finishing up a short story, with plans to begin plotting out this new book idea I have and am kind of excited about….except….

Except the characters from my New Orleans series keep acting out scenes in my head–scenes from a third, as-yet-uncontracted book. I hadn’t planned to write that book until I knew whether or not my publisher wanted it. I had everything planned. I was going to plot this new book in October and be ready for National Novel Writing Month in November. I’d spend December and January revising, and have it ready to go in March. After all, my publisher doesn’t seem inclined to commit to a third book in the New Orleans series till they see how the first two do, and why spin my wheels?

Because these characters have a story, and I want them out of my head, dammit! They just won’t shut up. My poor new-book-idea heroine can’t get a word in edgewise.

I heard once that God’s idea of a joke=us making plans. So be it.

Forget the new book for now. Stick it on ice. DJ and Alex and Jake and Jean Lafitte and Rand and the whole gang from Louisiana want me to write ELYSIAN FIELDS, so that is what I shall do. Maybe, in a few days, that stubborn progress bar to the right, which hasn’t moved in about two months, will start creeping forward again.

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban and paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense, currently living in Auburn, Alabama. Author of the Sentinels of New Orleans series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, and Belle Chasse (Nov 2016). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the upcoming Wilds of the Bayou series (Book 1, Wild Man's Curse) releases April 2016).

4 thoughts on “My Characters Are Screaming At Me–Shut Them Up!

  1. Woo hoo! Glad you’ve made a decision about what to write next, and I’m thrilled that it’s book three because the little sniff I got of book two was so wonderful that I can’t believe your publisher won’t get hate mail from readers if they stop at two.

  2. Ever hear of the taxicab paradox?

    A taxi driver figures he needs to make $200/day, so he decides that he will work every day until he has taken in that much, no matter how long or how short it takes.

    On Monday, business is dead, and he puts in a grueling eighteen hour day. Business remains lousy through the week, but on Friday he catches a lucky break: a big convention is in town, and he is delighted when he makes his $200 goal in under and hour and can knock off early. The long hours have made him a wreck, and he pats himself on the back for coming up with such a clever scheme. Except it’s not clever; it’s extremely silly.

    The poor cab driver has worked 73 hours to bring in $1000. If he’d quit after an hour on all the bad business days and worked eighteen hours on *Friday* when business was good, he’d have made over $3600 in only 22 hours: $163/hr instead of $13.70 using his quota scheme.

    Naturally, one can take such a strategy too far and not go into work at all if you think business won’t be good. It’s important to try your luck so you can separate procrastination from judgment. Insecurity drives us to the punishing quota grind. It’s natural to fear that there may be no more good days in the future, but the fear isn’t rational.

    The lesson of the taxicab paradox is when you have a windfall, accept it. If you planned to work on Story A but Story B is giving you freebies, take them.