I finished Chapter 26 of The Outlaw Bride this morning and felt myself edging closer to the end. Just two left to go. I’m having a little difficulty concentrating, my mind constantly racing ahead to the next story, and the one after that.
I always get excited any time a new story comes to me and the characters arrive, knocking on the door of my imagination demanding entry. But this new set of four stories, The Widowed Wives Series, this level of anticipation I haven’t experienced since I first sat down to write War Wounds (now The Marriage Agreement) about twelve years ago. Already I love these characters who have become so vivid in my mind as they wander around in my cranium unearthing new facts about themselves and poking my grey matter to let me know what they’ve found. The ideas are constantly flowing and I feel this zing, this thrill of adventure as though I’m about to embark on a wonderful journey and I’m counting the days until the departure date, anxious to get going.
I have started spending my lunch hours holed up in an empty boardroom or the kitchen writing up my character sketches. I don’t want to waste a single minute sitting idle. I want to immerse myself in their world and flesh it out, build it up, give it color and life. I want to know who they used to be before I met them--their hopes, their dreams, their disappointments, their heartbreak. The discovery is half the fun, the other half is bringing it to life, seeing how it unfolds with the story in my head.
The two books I’ve finished previously have both been set in the Old West. Victorian London is a new realm of research for me, and while I’ve read countless number of novels set in the era, obviously more finite research is required to be able to write in it with any sense of authority. My home library is chock full of books I’ve collected over the past year or two in anticipation of switching eras and I’m even excited about that.
Some of the characters are still a bit hazy in my head. I know part of their stories, but their faces are still a bit blurred and the details have yet to fully unfurl. A tingle of expectation thrills me every time I think about what is to come. It’s like the first blush of a new love, the butterflies, the anticipation. It’s hard to think of a better way to spend your summer, unless perhaps the first blush of new love was to actually arrive on my doorstep in the flesh. Until then, this isn’t such a bad substitute.