I started writing Here Among Us when my son, Jack was a freshman in high school. He’s now a sophomore in college. That probably seems like a long time for some books and just average for others. Every writer is different. I learned more about myself in the process than I ever would have imagined. Things like the fact that I always write in bed and when I try not to, I’m blocked. This hasn’t helped the real estate on my derriere, which has spread like nasty urban sprawl. The good news is that from my perch, I overlook the stunning hills of Bennett Valley. Who wouldn’t want to write to that?
Another very important lesson was about my own process. I’ve always been the sort of person who needs a map. Years back, if I had a job interview, I went the night before to map the route to the office. If I ran a race (or did a fast walk, let’s face it) I’d do the same thing, tracking the route the night before so that the next day I wouldn’t get lost.
But more often than not, writing is about getting lost and then finding your way back, not comfortable for a person who likes a map in their hand. Now that I know how to write a novel, or better yet, now that I know I can write and finish a novel, the next time should be easier. At least next time when I start, I’ll know I can finish.
In fact, besides having and raising children, finishing this book feels like the single most important accomplishment of my life. I feel like throwing myself a party. I’m pretty damned excited.