A couple of years ago, I finished what I half-jokingly referred to as my “magnum opus.” Then I put it in the drawer to ferment. The novel was called Holland Bay.
About a year and a half ago, I almost quit writing altogether. Nita expressed disappointment that I put so much work into Holland Bay, then did nothing with it. Suddenly, I didn’t look like I was serious about being a writer. Well, of course not. I up and quit. My agent had dropped me, and there was nothing to show for all those trips to Bouchercon and flailing since before my wife and I had met except an obscure PI novel put out by a small press that ceased to exist less than a year after the book came out.
At the beginning of this year, I kicked my own ass and determined to finish not one, but two projects on the slate – one crime, one science fiction. Over the course of the past few months, it became clear the original projects would not cut it. The science fiction novel evolved into something else while writing one of the short stories I used to develop it. The other…
So much for the screenplay-as-outline. Instead, I started rereading Holland Bay. And I liked it.
Sure, it’s complex as hell, and a lot of storylines will need to be cut. Some things will need to be rearranged. But then that’s why this 105,000-word monster is a rough draft. The more I read this, the more I realize it would be outrageous not to see this thing through. So out comes Holland Bay. And back in the drawer it goes while I think on it and work on another project.
It’s good to be back.