What’s Next?

author annette oppenlander with her dog mocha
Here we are trying to pose.

Have you ever been involved in a project that you really loved or were deeply connected to? Do you remember how you felt when it was finished?

It’s a void, a kind of emptiness. At least that’s what I’m feeling right now after completing BROKEN JOURNEY, a manuscript set during the American Civil War. In addition I hired a professional editor for my WW2 story, A SORROW IN MY HEART. I’m super excited about that last move because it’ll finally allow me to finish a manuscript that seized me in its clutches for ten plus years.

Now what?

Yes, there’s marketing to be done, author fairs and readings to be held this fall. But my brain is used to tangling with story, like plot, characters, arcs and setting. Right now I’ve got none of that. Instead I’m researching a new time period. And when you write historical fiction that takes a while.

last call book cover imageMy chosen era: prohibition. I read a couple of novels set during prohibition, one in the Mississippi delta during the 1927 flood, the other a gangster story taking place mostly in Florida. I’m also reading LAST CALL: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent, a 480-page tome that details the political, social and economical fallout and the myriad things that were wrong about the 18th Amendment.

author annette oppenlander doing yoga outdoors
Fresh air is wonderful…

So, I guess that’s it. I get to read…for work. I’m so lucky. I’ll pick up a few more books as I’m beginning to develop characters, decide on a couple of towns to set the story in. Slowly. I need lots of walks with my dog, Mocha, yoga sessions, fresh air and more books to read. Always more books.

I almost forgot. I’ve got to pick a genre. It’s historical, yes. But should I write another YA action/adventure or try my hands at historical romance? I don’t know yet. That’s what I find so fascinating about the work of a writer. Our brains are black boxes, and out of these black boxes flow stories onto the page. I’ll probably look back at this post next year, amused about me not knowing how the story ends.

Time will tell.