It’s been nine (9!!) years since I published Perceval’s Secret, the first novel in the Perceval series. Have you had a chance to read it? (smile) Before its publication, I had outlined the series for five novels, and the arc of Evan Quinn’s story over those five novels. The work on the remaining four novels has continued over the last nine years, even as I dealt with serious health issues (that often stopped the writing) and working fulltime at an office job. Nothing unique there. Most writers write when they can while earning a living at other things, raising a family, or, yes, dealing with serious health issues. I thought it about time to write a status update on the series as well as what I plan for the next year or so.
I recently typed “The End” on the last page of the first draft of Perceval’s Game, the fourth novel in the series. This is a major accomplishment considering I wrote it only on weekends since July 2020. A year ago, I needed major surgery and did not write anything during my recovery, but I thought a lot about the series, the fourth novel in it, and amazed myself over and over thinking about my creative commitment to this project. But I don’t particularly want Evan Quinn showing up in my dreams and scaring me as he did years ago when I almost made him an auto mechanic! He is quite insistent about telling his story. As I was finishing the last chapter of the 4th novel, ideas for the 5th novel kept popping into my mind, including the first chapter. So, I need to do some “cleaning up” on PG and prep notes for the rewrite before doing some prep work for the 5th novel that will include notes, character list, concert programs for Evan, and making certain that I write down everything in my head before putting it away. The title of the 5th novel will be Perceval’s Choice. The novel’s locations will be Paris, France, and Vienna, Austria.
The second novel in the series, Perceval’s Shadow, has been fermenting for at least five years. I cannot remember when I first put it in its oak barrel. My plan for at least the next year is to work on the third draft (I hope the last), have Beta readers read it, and then contract with a professional editor to go through it. I’m looking forward to spending time again with the characters in this novel, especially Pierre Levade. It would be especially lovely if it’d be ready for publication by March 2024. I plan to publish this novel as both an ebook and a paperback. And, while I’m at it, I’ll probably publish the paperback version of Perceval’s Secret as well. Launching the second novel will be a good time to launch the paperback of the first novel. What about audiobook versions? I’m still thinking about it.
PERCEVAL IN LOVE
I finished the first draft of the third novel in the series, Perceval in Love, set in Helsinki, Finland, Vienna Austria, and St. Petersburg, Russia, in June 2020. I remember at the time I was quite surprised that it did not end the way I’d been thinking of it ending from the moment I began it. But Evan Quinn had other ideas. That’s fine. It’s his story. It would make sense to write the second draft of this novel after publishing the second novel. I’ve put that in my barrel of possibilities to ferment. I could also write the first draft of the 5th novel and finish the series (woo-hoo!). For the next year, it will remain fermenting in its barrel until ripe for work.
OTHER WRITING PROJECTS
Essays: I continue to write essays for various markets, although as I’ve pushed harder on the fiction, the nonfiction side of my writing life has slowed. I have no plans to stop writing essays.
Music Memoir: This nonfiction book, as I have been sketching it, will be a series of personal essays chronicling how music has affected my life. I’ve been writing notes on various essays for the last two years as well as looking at the structure. I’ll probably start writing when the essays are ready to burst out of me. In the meantime I’ve been thinking about resonant vibrations, “hearing” a composer’s musical voice for the first time, and how much I enjoy the impish side of Beethoven.