When I finished my first novel in late August (pending more edits, of course), I decided to start something a bit lighter. See, THE DEVIL YOU DON'T KNOW is a rather dark theological thriller with some very deep themes. Many of them were ripped from my own soul, my own experiences.
It damn near killed me to write it.
Consequently, I figured a political thriller with lots of plot and very little depth would be just the ticket. And now, about 13,000 words into it, it turns out I was right. It's been much easier to write and doesn't send me into those dark and scary bouts of depression like the first one did.
So why am I shelving it in favor of yet another dark theological thriller?
Good question, and one I shall attempt to answer.
During the two years it took me to write THE DEVIL, I constantly felt like I'd bitten off more than I could chew. I felt overwhelmed. Frustrated. I didn't feel nearly talented enough to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. There were days when I was so pissed at myself that I honestly considered just deep-sixing the whole damned thing and looking for a real job. Oh, there were many, many dark days of self-imposed agony. I feared deep in my soul that I wasn't good enough to fulfill my lifelong dream.
I was still being held hostage by my fear of failure, which is eclipsed only by my fear of success. A line from Springsteen's The River kept me up at night:
Is a dream a lie if it don't come true, or is it something worse?
And then I finished the damned book one hot Friday night in a frenzy of writing, coffee and cigars. And people read it. And they liked it. Sometimes, they liked it alot.
And I started to feel something I had never felt before, despite all of the things I've managed to accomplish. I felt as though I had finally put my heart and soul into something and ... I somehow pulled it off!
As low as I had felt writing it, I felt equally high as others read and enjoyed it--as they got it.
Now I don't know if THE DEVIL YOU DON'T KNOW will ever see the light of publication. Only God knows that for sure -- and He ain't talking. But now I know the satisfaction of completing something that seemed all but impossible to complete. It's one hell of a feeling.
So I'm hard at work laying the groundwork for my next novel. Its working title is THE CROSSROADS and it's a novel about the epic battle between Good and Evil. God and the Devil. Man and his Soul.
I'm depressed already ... and loving every minute of it!