I’m in a magical stage of the writing process right now: the proposal stage. I’ve been spending the past couple months developing detailed synopses and writing first chapters for several YA books.
Am I going to write all these books? Will they all be published? Probably not. But that’s what this stage is about: playing with ideas, seeing what works and what holds my interest, and then seeing which stories appeal to my agent, my editors, and my publishers.
The books an author ends up writing are not necessarily the books that she’s most enamored of… which may be a good thing. My agent put the kibosh on my idea about Santa having affairs with elves, and Mrs. Claus “accidentally” killing him. Wise move on her part. My agent’s, I mean, not Mrs. Claus’s. Then there was the idea for a book series set in the year 494, involving the Romans and the Franks. My agent’s response was something along the lines of, “Please God, no.”
But sometimes, No is not an answer I’m willing to hear. I have an idea for a YA jungle adventure story that, at first blush, my agent disliked. I thought there was something exciting and good at the core of it, though, and realized I hadn’t done a good enough job of describing the idea so that she could see the good, too. When I sent her a much longer version of the synopsis, she loved it.
The strong front runners for my next YA books are:
- A companion book to Wake Unto Me, called Foxfire. It will be a stand-alone story, so that you don’t have to read the books in order.
- The jungle adventure, set in present-day Guatemala and Belize.
- A girl ghostbuster series set in the early 1800s.
- A time-travel set in both the present-day US and early 1800s England.
Which will I write? Foxfire is a 95% certainty. Beyond that? I don’t know!
Which is half the fun.