I know I’ve had a lot of Nicki Sosebee fans quite irritated with me. If you’re not a Nicki fan, you might ask why. Well, the last Nicki book I released was #8, Blind, and that was in late November 2012. Readers have been itching for the next installment and I have promised it multiple times with good intentions. The good news is I am working on it now.
I feel compelled to explain something about my writing process. I have not abandoned Nicki, and I will see her series through to the end (which has anywhere from three to five books remaining). I think readers feel like I have, and I think that’s the source of some of their frustration. That’s not it, though. I prefer to write when something flows, because the story feels more fluid and it feels more natural. I’m not saying I can’t write when I’m not compelled to, but it’s more difficult and, as a writer, I wind up quite dissatisfied with the story. I have written stories and books that way before, and it’s more difficult. So now I try to write when a story is calling to me.
Nicki has not called to me for a while.
It’s been the gentlemen from the Bullet series who’ve held my attention for a while. You all know what a book hangover is like as a reader. Well, I can tell you they exist for writers too, but I’d argue that it might even be harder to shake as a writer. After all, while we’re creating those characters and that world, we are absorbed by it. I can’t speak for other writers, of course, but that’s all I think about. I know I frustrate the hell out of my family, because I have a one-track mind, and if I’m not actually writing, I’m talking about whatever I’ve been working on. Bullet and its sequels have consumed me. After I wrote and released Bullet, I then had other Bullet-related material to write for that blog tour, and when I finally settled in to write the next book (which I’d planned to be Seal All Exits, Tangled Web #3)…I got nothin’.
Well, I thought, maybe I need to write someone I “know” really well. So I started writing Fake (Nicki #9). Again, the trail was cold. I got a little written in both those books, but neither story grabbed me and pulled me along for a ride. By that point, several months had passed and I knew I had to do something. Quickies was a collection I’d been working at off and on for months, adding bits here and there, and I decided to force myself to finish it. I had a few stories left to write and I just pushed them out. And then I decided to try to go with the flow instead of against it. I didn’t anticipate that Rock Bottom would be as difficult as it was (but that was for different reasons). By the time I finished writing Ethan’s story, I had the idea for Feverish, and that story excited me unlike one had in a long time. Ethan’s story in Rock Bottom was dark, and I needed light, and Jet provided that. And talk about flow…that book poured out of me.
Bullet was still calling, and I took care of Fully Automatic. And here we are.
About a month ago, I was on the road. When I’m driving a long distance by myself, I turn up the radio and jam out and let my mind concentrate on writing. Many a plot has flushed itself out that way. And it was on this particular trip that I saw the end of the Nicki series, something I haven’t seen in the past two and a half years I’ve been writing Nicki. Part of me is sad, but I’m also a little relieved, because I didn’t want her story to become gimmicky like a lot of long-running series do. I wanted there to be a definite progression of events and a definite end. I can tell you (I’m sorry!!!) that some readers will not be happy with the turn of events, and—yes—until it’s written, it’s not a done deal, but if it goes where it looks like, some readers will be p*ssed. I’m sorry. It’s Nicki’s story, and I am but the scribe.
Another place I write is in the shower. Knowing me, you’d probably think I sing in the shower, but I don’t. That’s where details get worked out. And I hate that, because sometimes I have to hurry up and throw a towel on and run to my laptop to get the ideas down before the details disappear. It’s not usually that overwhelming, but once in a while…crazy!
A few days ago, that happened. I was focusing hard on Fake, because I am writing that one next. I have 16,000 words so far, and I’m happy with the story thus far, but it was missing…something. That is so frustrating to me as a writer. Sure, I could push through and thus far I have, but I want that flow I was telling you about. That happens when elements of a story lock into place. In the shower the other day, that happened. I was thinking about the events that have transpired thus far in the story, knowing what happens later on, and trying to figure out how Nicki’s story gets from point A to point B and then click! There it was, clear as day. And guess what? That’s the part that makes it flow, and now I’m excited and eager to jump back in.
That’s good news for Nicki readers, because that means the next story is coming. Honestly? I thought maybe I was having a hard time writing because readers were telling me how angry they were going to be if this or that happens. Again, sorry, folks. I have to be true to my characters and my stories, and this particular story has been in my head since I first conceived Nicki—the next story too. After that, it had been fuzzy…up until a month ago. If I’m being true to the story and the characters, all I can do is give you my condolences if you don’t like where the story goes.
Anyway, I’m sure you’d prefer that I spend my writing time working on her story instead of a blog post, so I’ll get cracking. But, trust me…Nicki’s coming. Finally. Thank you for your patience!