by Victoria Buck
The last book in my trilogy released in October. Soon after, panic struck. Had I wasted years writing three books for the Christian market on a subject not widely understood or appreciated by Christians? Why would I do that? Why couldn’t I just write sweet romance or Amish fiction or one good historical saga? My WIP, though not futuristic or speculative like my last three books, has a lead character some Christians may find objectionable, and a plot twist into something…well…unusual. Why can’t I write about normal people with everyday problems who never fail to reach a happy ending? I decided if I couldn’t, then I should quit writing.
This epiphany came at a time when other matters required my attention. I needed to take a trip across the country because my mother had surgery. Before time for me to fly home, I devised a plan to stay busy—I really needed to remodel my kitchen. In the following weeks, what spare time I found between running a small business with my husband and refinishing cabinets, I quickly filled with diversions. I didn’t leave a spot in my schedule for writing and I knew if I planned it right I’d never have time to write another paragraph.
Okay, I did write a couple of blog posts and I worked to promote my trilogy, but I didn’t open that unfinished novel. The characters stopped talking to each other. The plot hung unresolved, swinging back and forth in my imagination until I was ready to give up on the story.
I expected a sense of relief. No more worry over word count or typos or marketing. No more mapping out a chapter when I should be sleeping. No more angst over the lack of interest in something it took years to write, edit, pitch, and publish. I would just give up. I’d let it all go with a story fading from my consciousness like a dream half remembered. Nobody would blame me. People get discouraged and quit.
But am I one of those people? I guess not because quitting didn’t last. I couldn’t do it. I know my calling and I believe in the value of Christian literature. The book I’m writing is good and I like the protagonist who is not quite typical for most popular Christian novels. And I need to know how the story ends.
Do I want to sell books? Of course, I do. Lots of them. Do I want to write a little on the odd side of Christian fiction? Yes, I do. Can I have it both ways? I don’t know, but I can’t quit trying. I tried to quit trying but I couldn’t let go of the made-up world I’m in right now. So I’ll finish this novel. After that, will I be able to quit? I don’t think so. I’m sure the stories, wonderfully weird ones, will keep finding me.
Victoria Buck is a Central Florida native. Wake the Dead is her debut novel. Killswitch continues the story. Transfusion released in October to finish the trilogy about the world’s first transhuman. Learn more about Victoria’s books at www.authorvictoriabuck.com and read her blog at www.victoriabuckunchained.com.