Yoda says "Do or do not. There is no try." But honestly, I have to disagree with the Jedi master. In the four years, okay, five, since Chasing the Lion released, I have started and rewritten that book over a dozen times. Life got in the way A LOT. Some good, like getting married and moving and becoming a stepmom, and some not good, like Hurricane Harvey and two rounds of months spent fighting clinical depression where the goal becomes "survive so we can thrive again."
And then there was the spring of 2018. I was so proud because I was the furthest in the manuscript I'd ever been at almost 50K words and on track to finish in another six months or so, and I lost everything. In a spectacular series of unfortunate events within a week of each other, my laptop died, my thumb drive fell off my keychain, and I learned my cloud backup was not setup correctly and my entire manuscript and work from the past 18 months was gone. Poof. Honestly, the only reason I handled it so well was because the previous fall I'd seen the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. I had the perspective of what it truly meant to "lose everything." So I just decided I was never going to write again and be happy being a wife and stepmom and great assistant.
Then, God. Months went by and I tended to my family, my relationship with Him, and slowly I started to see scenes. To hear bits of dialogue that were not from any of my previous attempts. That fall after the kids were back to school and I'd been able to replace my laptop (Macs ain't cheap, folks), I toyed with trying to write the sequel. Again. The Lord sent signs it was time when in 3 days time an old reader reached out to me, I got a new review on book 1, and my old narrator reached out to me.
So I started over. From scratch. In October of 2018. I tried two new methods to help my story structure and plotting and had to return to do some more research on what this "new twist" on my old versions of the story would involve. And it has been FABULOUS. Turns out starting completely over was what I had needed all along. God knew. He also knew I wouldn't get there any other way.
As of late February, I have 21K words (8 full chapters) of the anticipated 110K words it will take to render this novel, Charging the Darkness, and have goals and am making progress to be done with the manuscript by June of 2019. Revisions, edits, and cover design and formatting should take 3 months at most, so I am working to have book 2 retail ready by October, 2019.
I have promised release dates a few times before on this one, and blown all of them. So I know for those of you with me from the beginning, it's hard to trust that. It is for me too, but please know I am doing my part. If writing great novels were easy, everyone would do it, right? And I take a page from George R.R. Martin who said, it doesn't matter how long it takes me so long as it was worth the wait.
So don't give up on me. It will be worth the wait.