January 13, 2014
I just sent off to my publisher the manuscript of my next book. Such times are actually very bittersweet. I love, more than anything, the background research I do to get to know the characters and events I write about. For me, I typically take a year to do the research, and then it takes me about six months of time in front of the computer to get the story written. This puts me on a "year and a half cycle" for completion of one of my pieces about important people in our history and heritage. So, while it is incredibly satisfying to complete a story, I really do miss digging into the characters and events within.
I am "doubly" excited about this next book. I can now say that it is about one of the most important abolitionists who helped slaves to their freedom in the period shortly before the Civil War -- a person who helped pave the way for freedom and equality for all at that time. The main character was something of an early "James Bond" figure -- in that he used disguises, was typically "armed to the teeth," and used elaborate ruses to accomplish his goals. The story is full of adventure, mystery, and what I believe to be a pretty darn good love story as well. The book should be available in Fall 2014. I mentioned I'm "doubly" excited about this book because there will actually be two books in one. That is, because this is a literary nonfiction story, the background research was conducted in part at historic sites that are still standing today (Underground Railroad sites and other historic buildings associated with those who helped slaves to their freedom). While I traveled to do the background research, I kept a diary of my adventures and took plenty of pictures. I've turned this material into a second book which will be the "story behind the story" of how the main book came about. I think readers will enjoy this "companion book" that will be available along with the main one.
In future posts I'll be giving additional information about the process a manuscript goes through on the way to the shelves of the bookstore. I'll also be giving additional information about the main characters in the story -- after the final edits and the final title of the book has been decided upon. So, stay tuned! I'd like to give more information now, but I'll have to end with this teaser for the time being: Of all the stories I've written, none has touched my soul as much as this one. Through doing the background research, I discovered so much about our history and heritage -- and about why we are the way we are today.
I hope all of you have a wonderful, happy, and healthy 2014!
**I'm also adding a picture of the "England trip" as well. That was such a wonderful time!