There has been nothing truly “exciting” going on for me in recent weeks. I have mostly spent a lot of time writing and editing, which does not usually make for the most interesting of blog posts. But as “unglamorous” as it is, books do not get written unless they are written… and it takes A LOT of effort to try to make reading “easy” and “interesting” for readers.
What prompted this post is it dawned on me this morning that I have done something that I had not really intended to do when I started this “project” early in 2016.
The first novel of these latest three, Conventions: The Garden At Paris, had not been pictured by me initially as part of a new “series.” It was going to be a one-off, stand alone, historical tale. However, the more I got into writing it the more I felt I had to say – and I realized I could not say it all in just that book, so I felt there had to be a sequel.
As I wrote the next one, Tomorrow The Grace, during 2018-2019, I again realized… I am not finished here yet either. That had to be at least one more. This was a tale of people and places of the new United States, the French Revolution, and Napoleon… so it had to reach to around… 1815.
In early 2020, I took the plunge again with a third volume. It is now weeks from appearing. And I think it stands up to its predecessors… and is in some ways even better.
So what was it that had dawned on me this morning? This:
I had planned on writing one novel (Conventions) full of late-teens and young twenty-somethings amidst the REAL history of the “1780s-90s.”
By the third book, though, now some two decades later for all of them, not unreasonably those formerly young people now have adult children.
Those latter – none of whom were alive in “1787” – have, in a sense, “grown up” in these three books.
In early 2016, only a couple of months after my mother’s and my [novelist] uncle’s deaths, I was really down and even borderline depressed. I was unsure if I could write another thing or even if I should try. But after several weeks of reflection (and my wife telling me I should not stop; that my uncle would NOT have wanted me to stop writing yet), I decided I would not throw in the towel and that I would at last write the massive historical romantic novel I had had in the back of my mind dreamed of writing since as far back as the 1990s when I was talking about Washington, Jefferson, early U.S. independence, and the French Revolution to undergraduates in history and poli sci classes I was then teaching at a university in New York.
However, I had NOT planned on writing anything approaching what it has become: soon to be a three-volume, nearly 2,000 pages, multi-generational, multi-national family saga. Thus what can happen. We may start out with an idea, but as the years pass and we move to make it reality, it invariably takes on, shall we say, something of a life all its own.
Anyway, I hope you are having a good day, wherever you are. 🙂