Have you ever felt so incredibly sure of something, I mean, solid plan, detailed outlines, dates written in a planner, kind of sure... just to have it not make sense one morning?
I had this plan... this outline of where my books were headed, when each book would be released as far as order and timing... and then I don't know. A little voice in the back of my mind said, "Are you sure?"
Maybe everyone else isn't a carefully stacked house of cards like I am, but looking back on it, I think of that scene from Catching Fire where Katniss says, "It must be a very fragile system if it can be brought down by just a few berries."
That's my psyche, I suppose. One question and I unraveled.
I looked down the path where my books were headed, all danger, murder, and mayhem. Not necessarily a bad thing in a literary sense, but my name was being associated with one genre. I guess most authors like that. Again, we've established that I like bucking the system, sometimes to my own detriment. This might be one of those moments. But, I am a multi-faceted person, with a multi-genred (I know it's not a word, bear with me) love of books and writing.
I have quite a few unpublished manuscripts waiting in the wings. Time, money, not flooding my own market so that I'm competing with myself, all hold me back. But I wrote Pre-Approved Identity Theft July 2017, and I really loved it. It showcases my personality, rather than my fears and anxieties like some of my other books do.
In short, (too late), I didn't want to be cast as one genre type of writer. Many other author friends have warned me that I should have a pen name because this is so far off my path. I have to admit, I'm nervous about that. But, listening to my friend, Tricia Copeland, she's been explaining how her stories all fit together despite the genre differences. She's interwoven by magic, not only in the literal sense, but the magic of faith, of becoming, of being more than you once were. She even has a mascot to remind her of her magic. A cute pink unicorn sits by her desk. I may or may not be a little jealous.
Her words set me on my own quest, a quest to figure out what connected my works...published and yet to be published. It took a bit, and I'm still working on it, but the most common theme I found was "choices". I appear to have a fascination with choices and the impact they have on our lives. Cue a clip from Dr. Malcom and Chaos Theory from Jurassic Park.
I do love that movie.
Emma's choice to end up in the doctor's office, landed Adam in her life. Lindy's choice to turn right. Ryder's choice to call Vanessa. Even in Saddles & Sabotage I found the line, "He made his decisions, and then I'd made mine." And now Harper's decision to climb out the bathroom window at her own wedding. Some characters act like none of it matters, others know the weight of a decision. But that's what it comes down to, isn't it? Isn't life a collection of decisions, all varying in size and severity?
Fascinating and paralyzing all at once.
One day, I might look back on this latest decision, my choice to release Harper's story before Lindy's newest installment and think, "wow, that was dumb", or I might praise the inspiration that pointed me in this direction. All I can do at this point is try. That's my other theme that connected my books, and weaves into my life.