A New Direction | author’s note

Just this past Wednesday, I finished writing my latest novel. I’ve talked before about what a high it is to finish, and this week that was an especial treat, since my day job threw some interesting (code for “yucky and upsetting”) curve balls my way. Day jobs have a tendency to do that, and it always helps a lot to focus instead on the things that matter most to me, over any work drama—my family, pets, friends, blessings and creative work.

This latest book represents a slightly new direction, in that it’s a departure from my previous series. I’m not sure how that’s going to work with my low-grade marketing campaigns, but it may help that the genre is the same. The new story follows my usual storytelling style, romantic suspense about people who aren’t detectives or police; however, unlike all the others before it, it has no characters in common with the other novels. Always my previous books featured some connection to the series, some continuation of the story lines of the various players. For that reason, I won’t be assigning this as book 13 in the Strangers on This Road series, but will let it stand on its own… maybe, possibly, as the start of a new set of adventures.

It’s a teeny bit sexier (though still nowhere near romance novel sexy/graphic), and introduces new heroes and villains to whom I became very attached as I wrote. I’m in the process of reading through and editing it now, and am hoping it hangs together well and creates a compelling narrative for readers. Until I’ve gotten through it a few times, it’s hard to say how well it works.

What I’m appreciating most this week is that it was extremely fun to write, and kept me thinking about good, happy, positive things while other parts of my world grew complicated and frustrating (and stupid).

It’s a little bit intimidating to depart from my usual MO, however subtly, and at the same time feels full of exciting new possibilities. Ultimately, that’s what writing and publishing unlocks for me—the challenge of stepping into new opportunities, no matter how intimidating, and the drive to always keep at it.

And, of course, the chance to fully enjoy every step of the process—even the editing!

– Emily


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