This post is by Joe Stephens
As many of you know, I just published my fourth book. It’s entitled Dawn of Grace and it’s the fourth in a series called The Shalan Adventures. All of the books I’ve published have been in this series. And even the one novella that I’ve written was a prequel to these books. Other than a few short stories, Harry and Dee Shalan and their family and friends are the only characters I’ve written. They are completely real to me. And I’m happy to say that I have some fans who feel the same way. I haven’t sold tons of books, but the people who’ve read them seem quite taken by them, and by Harry and Dee specifically.
The reason I bring that up is that, after four books and about five years, I’ve decided to, at least temporarily, go in a different direction. My next novel will not involve Harry and Dee. It won’t be detective fiction at all. It will be much more serious than the light stuff I’ve written so far. It’s about a young woman coping with the tragic death of her mother who suddenly encounters a man who claims to be the father she’s never met. It’s going to be bigger and broader than anything I’ve ever taken on. It will cover the main character’s life from age five until adulthood. I think it has the potential to be something important. The premise is a strong one. The only thing standing between me and having a truly good book is me. And that’s the problem.
I’m scared to death. Leaving Harry and Dee (not forever–I will write more books about them) feels like leaving home. We all go through that when we leave the safety of the nest. the questions abound. Will I be able to make it on my own? What if I’m going in the wrong direction? What if people hate me? What if I’m just not ready? Will I ever be ready?
Scared or not, I’m moving on. I’ve already started the first draft and it’s going well. I’m
not putting it on a timetable. I’m just going to write it as fast as I can write it. And in the meantime, I’m still promoting Dawn of Grace and squirreling away ideas for future Shalan Adventures, including a spin-off series for their daughter Jenn.
Writers, have you encountered this? How did it go? If you’re not a writer, what has been your experience of going in a different direction in your life? Maybe it’s a new job or a new relationship or walking away from an old one. Whatever it is, I’d love it if you’d share.
Joe’s newest book, Dawn of Grace, just debuted on June 9. It’s available on Amazon.
Check out his third book, In The Shadow on Amazon
Take a look at his debut book, Harsh Prey on Amazon
Take a look at his second book, Kisses and Lies onAmazon