For My Next Book

I’ve mentioned my writing in quite a bit of my monthly Hello Good-bye posts this year, but I’m never one to reveal much about what I’m writing so there won’t be a sample here just yet. I will tell you it’s a manuscript I’ve been tinkering with for probably over ten years.

It began as a story about a piano player who loses an arm and suddenly has to find a new purpose in life. That central theme has stayed constant, but the narrative itself has changed many times.

My lead character even changed from male to female several years in after I was inspired by a strange woman I saw walking down the street while I was driving to work one morning. I wondered what her name was, so I gave her one. I wondered what her story was, so she became my piano player.

This book didn’t even have a name until about five years in. Tentatively, it’s called “The Piano Maker’s Son.” I’m still not convinced I like that title, but from it you can tell the focus is no longer even on the piano player I just mentioned. Not entirely anyway. In March of this year, I began rewriting the manuscript (again) from the perspective of a completely different character.

Add to this a real-life story I came across years ago about a steamboat that exploded at the end of the Civil War. I became so obsessed with learning about it that I wrote it into my story. You can learn about the steamboat here. This year, I even visited a museum dedicated to the tragedy just to learn more about it for the book.

Over the years, I kept abandoning this manuscript because I’d come up with other things to write about which felt more whole to me. Out of my six books, four of those were written and published after I started what I now call the “piano story.” I even started writing another book last October and abandoned it in March of this year when I decided the “piano story” needed to be finished.

But I’m determined to finish it this year!

This week I’ve been making a mental list of all the things that are in this book that I love or have an interest in. You’ll probably laugh or think it’s too much, but here’s a list, including the things I’ve already mentioned:

Pianos
Music
Piano players
A dwarf
Steamboats
Ghosts
Cemeteries
Rivers
Memphis
Small towns
Old historic houses

and much more!

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