If you’re a friend on FACEBOOK or TWITTER, you’ve probably heard me screaming it from the rooftops that I’ve finished my latest book – OUTBACK BLAZE. So I just thought I’d share a little bit about this book, the inspiration and the writing process.
OUTBACK BLAZE will be the second in my first series. The books are all stand-alones but they are set in the same small town, many of the characters reappear throughout the three (at least) books and there is one storyline that is only slightly touched on in Books 1 & 2, which becomes one of the main plots in Book 3 (OUTBACK GHOST)!
I actually had the inspiration from for OUTBACK GHOST before the first two books, but some key components of this story were too similar to another story my publisher had coming out when I proposed the story. I was devastated. I LOVED the idea and really wanted to write it. Anyway I went back to the drawing board and tried to think of a brand new idea – I flicked through magazines, thought about my favourite type of stories, ate lots of chocolate, cried a bit when I decided I had nothing and my career was over – and THEN I realised the book I wanted to write could be written later down the track. I realised I could set seeds in two earlier books.
And this excited me, because so many of you had emailed me or posted messages on FB saying that you loved series and was I ever thinking of writing a sequel to JILTED or MAN DROUGHT (btw, the answer is yes to JILTED – stay tuned)!?
First step was brainstorming the main characters for each book. I wanted to write a friends to lovers story and that became OUTBACK DREAMS (due out in October this year) and I’d always wanted to write about a small town shop fire that affects all the community, and so I decided somehow I would make this the crux of book two OUTBACK BLAZE.
Thus, when I pitched this series, I had written a synopsis for book one, had almost the whole of book three in my head, and only a tiny seed of an idea for book two. The fire. I knew I wanted to start the book with a fire and I knew who my heroine was – we meet her in OUTBACK DREAMS. I figured I’d have oodles of time to come up with more of an idea, but then I found out my wonderful publisher wanted to publish these books a lot closer together and I realised I actually only had two and a half months to write OUTBACK BLAZE. EEK!
I had a small heart attack – moaned to my writing friends – and then I sat down to make notes. I knew the fire would not be an accident but when I started writing I hadn’t yet worked out who’d started it. Thus, I wrote my first ever story that included an element of suspense without having any clue as to who the villain was. I also had to write it faster than I’ve ever written anything in my life. (In the end I wrote 115k in 2.5 months)
I’m rambling a bit I know… but I guess what I wanted to say, was OUTBACK BLAZE has been a different writing experience for me. I didn’t have time to plan too much, do heavy research or stress that it was crap, I just had to write. There were times when I didn’t think I’d make it, but others when the pressure inspired me to write whatever came into my head. I went from writing 1k a day to more like 3k a day (although I didn’t write on every day).
I’m not sure I’ll write a book this fast again and I’m not sure I’ll go the suspense angle again either, but I really enjoyed the challenges that came with writing OUTBACK BLAZE and I cannot wait to share it with you in January 2014!!!
What have you done that challenged you lately?