November 28th, 2009

The importance of side dishes

I've never been about the turkey or the ham at a big holiday meal. Me, I like the side dishes. Mashed potatoes and gravy! Green bean casserole! From-scratch yeast rolls. Scalloped potatoes with cheese! (Have I mentioned how much I love potatoes?)

Just like I like side dishes, I like side projects. I often have a main book I'm working on, plus a little something on the side. I wrote Learning to Fly: A Thriller as a side project. Until then, I had only written series mysteries. It ended up being my best reviewed book to date, and for a long time was my best selling.

I wrote Girl, Stolen, which will be a lead title next fall from Holt, when it seemed possible, even likely, that no one would buy it.

I had an idea for a book the other day. But it involved a paranormal element (not werewolves, vampires, fairies, or fallen angels. More of a special power). My agent and YA editor agree that I should be building my brand as a YA thriller author. And they are right. So I prepared to shelve my cool book idea.

But you know what? I decided this morning I'm going to keep it as a side project and work on it here and there. It might take me a long time to write a book that way, especially since I'm also working on one adult mystery and one YA thriller a year, but there's no hurry.

Besides, I like side dishes.

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