I am officially SICK of being sick. June has been a month of endless bugs, back to back, because I have a horrible immune system, and once it's down, all the germs like to pile on, and just...ugh. I spent most of the weekend resting, trying not to pass out, taking lots of vitamins, drinking lots of fluids, and also reading. I also managed to make it to the movies - the 4th is not just Independence Day in my family, but also my dad's birthday, so we took him to see, appropriately, Independence Day Resurgence. We all saw the first one together in theaters 20 years ago (20 years ago!!!! Oh my God!!) and it totally holds up, I think. It was fun.
Being sick and having so much time to read has led to this overflow of creative ideas. And even if I've physically felt like crap, the break has been a good time to reread some of my work, and think about what I want to accomplish with my three WIPs. Yes, three, because I'm a glutton for punishment. You know about Loverboy, and now Dear Heart. The third is as-of-yet untitled, and it's the one I'm most excited about. I would LOVE to have it out before the end of the year. Fingers crossed for that.
The thing about my standalones is...I know there are people who don't want me to work on them. I know it's more Dartmoor that's in demand. I get that. But the other thing about my standalones is...I need them.
Fearless (followed closely by Angels) will always be my favorite Dartmoor book because it felt like channeling something outside myself. I wrote in a frenzied, completely unselfconscious sequence of marathons that inevitably mark my best work. When I write from a place of dampened inspiration, head full of business noise, second-and-triple-guessing each word, the writing suffers. Always. All those people who cry about Fearless being too long - that doesn't touch me. Because Fearless was some of my most inspired work ever.
And that's what's happening with my two standalones. The channeling, the frenzy. The sheer exuberance of reading back over the last few paragraphs and picking up where they left off. They feel raw, and fresh, and almost dangerous, the way the words are just waiting there, ready for my fingers to strike the keys.
I'm going to keep writing Dartmoor - Devin's Green brood needs so much more air time, and Ghost and Mags have something hilarious in their near future. But one thing I've never wanted was to be pigeonholed. I realized about a month ago that I was denying myself by holding off on writing some of the things I wanted to, and that isn't good for the creative side (whole) of my brain. I'm so grateful for the attention Dartmoor has received, but I wrote quite a few books before the biker boys came along, and there will be lots more books in addition to them. There are so many places I want to go with my fiction, so many themes I want to explore, so many characters quietly waiting their turn. So I really hope my Dartmoor readers will be open-minded and try some of the other novels I have in the works. And I really hope I can stay healthy enough to write the damn things.
Happy belated 4th, everyone.