Back during my years of struggle, when I kept writing with the dream of getting published some day, I sometimes wondered if the struggle was the only thing keeping me going. That is, was I simply too stubborn to give up? And if I ever found success, would I keep writing with as much passion, or would it become simply another job? Or worse, would I get bored and give it up?
That worry seems silly in retrospect. Now that I’m on the other side, I find that I’m more devoted to writing than ever. My head is bursting with ideas, and I’m writing as fast as I can, barely able to keep on top of all the stories I want to tell.
I finished a new historical novel called Wolf Hook in late summer*, and had about a month off before I was scheduled to start work on the next book in The Righteous series. It wasn’t enough time to write an entire book, but I didn’t want to sit around watching TV or goofing off on video games. When reading about the final, chaotic days of WWII it had occurred to me that while the war ended for most Americans in 1945, the massive population upheavals, food shortages, and changing military occupations kept the war fresh and raw in Europe for years after. Not to mention the last days of active combat, and how awful it would be to realize the war was won (or lost) and still be in the middle of a life and death struggle.
I imagined an American fighter pilot downed behind enemy lines in early May of 1945, and instead of adding characters and subplots like I would when developing a full-length novel, decided to keep the scope of the story shorter, about 80-120 pages. With hard work it was something I could finish in about a month. It would also give me something to share with my readers during the time of the release of The Blessed and the Damned in early October and Destroying Angel in March.
I was pleased with how this story turned out and am happy that early readers seem to be enjoying it too.
Blood of Vipers:
When fighter pilot Cal Jameson is shot down in enemy territory at the end of the war, his only desire is to find his way back to American lines. But as Cal hides from a Waffen-SS death squad, he stumbles into a family of German refugees fleeing Soviet shock troops. Soon, he finds himself in an uncertain role as the family’s protector. Together, they must stay alive while under attack from partisans, Russian soldiers, and the last, dying struggles of the Nazi regime, which is determined to throw back the enemy, even if it means the final destruction of the German people.
*It might be a while before you can read Wolf Hook. There is some interest from Thomas & Mercer to publish some of my other books, but if they don’t make a firm offer my agent is talking about shopping it to some other publishers. If that doesn’t pan out, I’ll hire my own editor and cover artist and bring it out myself, but right now everything is up in the air.