It’s official. Tapestry Lion, the second novel in the Landers Saga, is out. Here’s a link to the Amazon page:
It’s hard for me to describe this book without some angst. During the course of its writing (I started the rough draft in 2005), I lost both my parents and went through various other family- and work-related ordeals that could only happen to an Aquarian with her moon in Scorpio. Uranus rules Aquarius, which means a lot of unpredictability in the lives of Aquarians, and a Scorpio moon is just trouble. Pure trouble, people. And I don’t even believe in astrology (well, maybe just a little. 10% of me believes. The other 90% is a happy-go-lucky, open-minded skeptic.) Anyway, I feel (and hope) that I’ve emerged from all of this with more self-awareness, integrity, and compassion for others. I know I’ve gained some amazing friends, who I can’t thank enough for their support with my writing mania.
Anyway, back to Tapestry Lion. This book wouldn’t have been possible without Cheryl, Jim, Doug, Lloyd, and Cynthia’s invaluable feedback on the rough draft, and for their help, I am eternally grateful. What fascinated me most about the editing process were all the different reactions I had to the manuscript and characters. One person didn’t like Character A, whereas that was another person’s favorite character. Someone else thought Character B was being unsympathetic in a particular scene whereas another person was in full agreement with Character B and was mad at Character C. Reactions ran the gamut and for the most part were pretty strong. I like that. I like evoking and sometimes provoking strong emotions in people with my writing, even if those emotions are negative towards a particular character. It makes me feel like I’m doing my best to be honest in my writing. If all I got when I wrote something were a slew of lukewarm positive reactions, I would feel like I’d failed.
Honesty isn’t always easy. In fact, being honest is probably one of the hardest things any of us has to be. Who reading this is honest 100% of the time, both with themselves and others? I dare you to raise your hand. And I think it’s even more tempting to lie in a creative endeavor like writing where you put your ego and raw emotions on the line and ask for people’s feedback. So much of what goes in my writing is subconscious. I’m not even aware of it. So how can I know if I’m lying about it? I can’t. At least I can’t until I listen to other people’s responses to what I’ve written, which is why the editing process is so difficult, yet so necessary. So much of what goes in a first draft is pure drivel, there for the writer’s ego or enjoyment or edification, not anyone else’s. I’ve been lucky to find folks who help me identify the drivel so I can cut it out before anyone else reads it.
I’d like to mention one part of my writing process in Tapestry Lion before I close this blog entry. When I started writing about the House of Landers at the age of fourteen, Safire and Merius were both older than me. Now they’re both at least a decade younger than I am. Their youth and inexperience and how they start to mature contribute a great deal to the conflict in Tapestry Lion. The story puts pressure on them as individuals and as a couple, and they don’t always act with grace or good sense. And they suffer for their errors (and learn from them, although sometimes learning takes awhile when you’re between the ages of 18 and 22.) My definition of a soulmate is not necessarily the person you get along with the best, but the person who forces you to grow the most. True love is not an endless meadow of purple flowers under a cerulean blue sky. That would get really boring after awhile, actually. And if there’s one thing neither Merius nor Safire handles well, it’s boredom. That’s why I’m excited to get to work on the final two books in this particular series about the House of Landers, entitled Phoenix Ashes (I’m halfway through the rough draft of this one) and The Curious Fear of High and Lonely Places. I can’t wait to see what these crazy people in my head do next.