A new book, a new book!

Well, I have been very lazy busy and haven’t written here in ages. It shames me even to see how long it has been.

Partly I’ve been writing and re-writing a new book, which is exciting and fun and crazy all at one time. I don’t mind telling you that the characters for this one are not at all the docile, cooperative types that will just sit down and tell me their story, straight-out, the way I like to hear it. Apparently they don’t care how I like to work at all. Instead of just explaining things to me, they get scrappy and decide that they want things to go a whole different way than I had hoped for them. The main character, a woman named Julia, even objected to her name!

I am willing to be reasonable with them as far as possible. I know that unhappy characters can wreck a whole book in no time. They can go bad, like teenagers you’ve grounded and now wish you hadn’t. These are waking me up in the middle of the night to tell me whole new plot lines they’ve thought up for themselves (“Wait! I have a brother who robs banks! Yeah, that’s right–and my mom used to drop acid and ran away to join the circus!”)

You can see how a person who is living with a bunch of folks like this in her head might have trouble making her way over to a blog to write something coherent.

In the meantime, though, I’ve also discovered the joys of teaching fiction and memoir to some very dear, talented students…and there are days, sitting around the table, drinking iced tea and munching on scones and listening to other people fashion their plots, that I feel deeply sorry for anyone who is not right now writing a novel.

I love the quote from the lovely Lee Smith, which I keep taped to the wall in my study: “When stuff in life gets really rough, I would just die if I was not writing a novel. Once you think it up, it’s like a whole other city with a little door, and every time you sit down to write you just open  the door, and there you are–a wonderful vacation for two hours.”

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7 Responses to A new book, a new book!

  1. Caryn Caldwell April 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Ha! Your middle-of-the-night revelations made me laugh out loud. I hope a few of them are helpful, even if the rest are good only for the entertainment value.

    I love that quote, too. Writing is a lot of work, but my books are a playground for my mind.

    • Maddie Dawson May 24, 2012 at 12:34 am #

      Oh, Caryn! It’s true that our books are our best playgrounds, isn’t it? I do love going there when the rest of life kind of gets too filled up with reality.

      Someone just gave me a plaque that says, “Reality is for people who lack imagination.”
      I’m sticking with that!

  2. Mary Hollingworth May 23, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    I loved your book
    sections of it made me really laugh
    and I read aloud the bit about sex to my husband, spontaneous sex…what’s that!!!!!
    but thankyou for your story
    it resonated well and was so descriptive, I could see the people.
    I am a librarian on a mobile library and will put a review of your book on our website


    • Maddie Dawson May 24, 2012 at 12:36 am #

      Thank you, Mary. Your letter made me smile. Yeah, spontaneous sex–a rare thing these days!

      When I first wrote this book, one of the copy people from the publisher was writing the press release for it, and she wrote something like, “Annabelle has a husband who loves her so much that he schedules sex with her.” And that made me laugh, because really, he schedules sex with her because he loves his work so much that he’s never going to think of sex otherwise! But copy-writers are all very young and they might not know that about life and marriage yet.

      Thank you for writing! And for getting the word out about the book.

  3. Becky November 27, 2012 at 2:33 am #

    Just finishing up “The Stuff that Never Happened” It almost never got read, as I am a slow reader. Anyway it had been sitting around since June…and now I am on the last couple chapters so I came to see what else you have written so that I could buy more of your books. I love your writing. It is easy to read and casual. Not overly descriptive but I can picture everything. Especially the places. Can’t wait for your next book to be complete!

  4. Jennifer January 4, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    I decided to sit down and look over the books I read some years ago and I saw “The Stuff That Never Happened” on the list and I remembered how much I loved that book. Since it was published in 2010, I was sure there would be another book by now, and was stumped when I did a search and nothing else came up. So I wandered over here to see if anything had been mentioned and I see the new book is expected out in March!! I am suddenly super excited! 🙂

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