Okay. Whew! Glad and mightily relieved to report that Book 2 of the Charlie Madigan series has been turned in to my editor, and that my life can now return to some semblance of normalcy.
This book gave me lots of headaches, but it wasn't the book doing so, it was me. First time writing a book already sold. First time writing a book with a deadline not my own. First time writing a book in a series. So, lots of pressure, lots of weight on my confidence as a writer. I was also really worried about writing what I thought everyone else wanted. Pleasing everyone. This kind of thinking can really stifle you, let me tell you.
A friend of mine told me to think back to when I was writing The Better Part of Darkness. I was writing the story I wanted to tell. I was writing the kinds of scenes that excited me and made me happy. And, it showed. That story sold. And, I realized that when you do that, the writing flows, the book works. So, as hard as it was to not feel the pressure (and it was still there, hovering), I forced myself to stop thinking about what I thought others might want to see happen in the second book, and just wrote the kind of book I wanted to write, the story I wanted to tell, and the things that made me excited and engaged.
I brought the Charlie I know and love back to life. I know her inside and out, and this book has allowed me to see her stories, her ordeals, her personal relationships far into the future.