So, what’s next?

It’s hard to believe that the Bound trilogy is in my rear-view mirror. It was a crazy journey. Each book challenged me in new ways (and threatened my sanity with astonishing consistency), and made me a better writer in the process.

The question as I approached the end of the journey was, “What’s next?”

I’m certainly not short on ideas. I have a gorgeous notebook that I keep them in, and even if I only look at the “gotta write it now” stories, I’m booked through 2018. The difficult thing was that I’ve grown used to deadlines. I didn’t have one with Bound, but as soon as it started finding an audience, I found that I had a whole lot of motivation to get the rest of the series done. Readers wanted more, I wanted to give them more… it worked.*

But suddenly the story is done. If there’s more of it (*cough*), it won’t be ready to be written for a few years. And I’m ready to take a little break from that world. Much as I adore the characters, they need room to breathe and grow, and so do I. When we meet again, they’ll be a little older and wiser and ready for new adventures, and I’ll be a better writer and ready to meet whatever new challenges they** throw at me.

The question was what would come next. And thanks to a message I received from a fellow indie author in early December, I have an answer.

And it’s here.

I needed a challenge, and this project is delivering. I have a very restricted word count allowance, and you all know how I love to write a big, beautiful book. I’m not willing to sacrifice character development or worldbuilding, so this is a good challenge. I also have a tight deadline. I have time for my full draft-revise-alpha readers-revise-send to editor-fix-beta readers-fix again-proofread routine, but not for much more. And I have a group of authors relying on my to uphold my end of the bargain, just as they’re busting their asses to uphold theirs.

It’s going to be tight, and the pressure is already on. And I don’t even have a title for it yet.

This project is pushing me to produce a kick-ass book with almost none of the advance planning time that I’m used to. I don’t get months or years to get to know the characters and mull over the plot before drafting. This is me jumping off a cliff and trusting my muse to catch me.

So far, so good. I adore the story and characters. In fact, it took me exactly eight chapters to fall for… someone.

Screenshot 2016-02-01 13.20.58

Do I want to do this all the time? Definitely not. But I think the lessons I learn will help me with future books, and I’m already so grateful for that.

I think that’s all I can say about the project for now, except that you should definitely watch for snippets and clues about what it’s all about on WIPpet Wednesdays. You’re going to see monsters and magic, a perfectly average fish-out-of-water heroine whose world is turned upside down, moral ambiguity, risks and regrets, romance and excitement and…

Well. You’ll see. And it will be available in June.

JUNE, GUYS. And then there’s this lovely little semi-dystopian project with vengeful gods that’s been eating at me for a few months now…

Wish me luck!

*yes, 9 and 10 months between books was me pushing myself to my productivity limits. My family says they’re not willing to let me disappear into my office ten hours a day, so I’m doing what I can. 🙂

**Or their ancestors. Hmm.

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About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with a Mountie, two kids who take turns playing Jeckyll and Hyde, two cats, an intentional boxer and an accidental chihuahua. She's the author of the bestselling Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy). www.katesparkes.com View all posts by Kate Sparkes

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