Sometimes, when you manage the process of publishing books, when you don’t have your own research folks, use anybody as an editor if you use anybody at all, and you wrestle with file formats like PDF, JPG, Epub, Mobi and whatever else, it brings out the feeling that wouldn’t it be nice to be John Grisham or the Patterson factory because they have only to write with a smart editor to help them.
And then I think no, I like the stress, the challenge despite having to deal with so many things beyond just writing. When books don’t sell, which is always so far, it gives you something to hide behind, that I would be successful if and then list in my mind all the reasons including the ones I mentioned.
But there are compensations. Thinking about a book, like the one I am trying to write about the Jesuits in the northwestern wilderness, it takes me all kinds of places. I have admitted to myself that I am ill prepared to address the enormous reach of the book I think about, and that is what makes the whole thing worthwhile.
Just trying to get it right, enjoying your words whether anybody else does or not, is a pretty good way to start and finish the day.
I had hoped we, Rachel, the illustrator and I would have Return to Black Mountain ready for all the grandkids, great grandkids, nieces and nephews for Christmas. Rachel is doing her best, but being the illustrator and the designer is a lot to take on and she just might do it.
I look at my calendar nd saw I was projecting finishing Black Robes by November .I figure I have completed about twenty percent of the book so I have six days to complete the remaining eighty percent!
My idea about the book was to focus almost exclusively on the Jesuits, which is, in itself a very rich topic. But research has led me to think of a very different book, one that takes in the Interior Indian tribes, the military, our government and a dynamic very different than the one I began with. For example, the behavior of the Indian tribes in the area between the Rocky Mountains and the Cascades is loaded with possibilities, the life of one of the main characters, the son of an Irish immigrants brings the Seminole uprising and the Mexican-American war into the picture, and on and on. So much to understand as the backdrop to the story. To incorporate and distill all that pops up while keeping the plot and sub-plots in focus will be a challenge. In the back of my mind, what is the story I want to tell.