An Author's Prerogative

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a writer is to never paint myself into a corner, or at least try not to. The best laid plans, as the saying goes, often go awry or lose their immediacy the deeper embroiled we get. Then, our beloved project becomes a chore. We become blocked. We languish in frustration. Well, I languish, anyway. Maybe you don’t...

When I first began writing Beyond The Bridge, it was a single novel to be completed, published and in the can in a year’s time. It opened in the mid-1970s and ended in the early 1980s. The problem was, there was a huge backstory that was being neglected, and trying to use devices like flashbacks became cumbersome and trite. That was when I decided to write a prequel as it were, which became Book One: With A Dream. The initial book was renamed Book Two: With A Bullet. Predictably, my sometimes over-active ambition urged me to make a trilogy of the story and I created an outline for Book Three: With A Song.

It wasn’t long after Book Two was published that I encountered a loss of enthusiasm. My health took a downward turn, I got a v-e-r-y demanding puppy, and I put Book Three on the back burner. It has been over a year and I still can’t get into it. I know the story well—all the plot points and final resolutions—but I guess I’ve just run out of steam.

Over the past few days, while researching another, completely unrelated novel, it came to me to strike the word “trilogy” from this project and make it a series. The newly rewritten With A Dream and With A Bullet are ready to be published together in one cover, so that’s what I’m going to do this weekend. With A Song will be written later, after I’ve distanced myself and cleared my mind a bit. I’ve also been working on main character Gordon Hammond’s memoirs, Enharmonic Intervals, which will be published when it’s completed. Meanwhile, calling this whole project The Beyond he Bridge Series allows me to write as many books as I want, perhaps even diving into some of the other characters’ stories. I haven’t lost my passion for the characters, only writing about them for the time being.

I can’t tell you how much weight this takes off my mind and creativity. The biggest part of this switch-over will be revamping the website, promo materials, and paperwork. I think it’ll be worth it.