My Next Book

Now I can tell you a tantalizing bit about my new novel, which I hope to have out in late fall of this year. It’s an adult contemporary novel, but a little different than Secret Vow and The Novice Master: It’s more of a humorous book, even a bit satirical, though it has a touch of the spiritual. Just a touch. It’s not as serious as my other books, but more fun, and it has been delightful to write. Once I had my characters in place—there are four, along with several minor ones—the book just seemed to write itself. Love when that happens!  I wrote a big chunk of it at Gethsemani Abbey, in the library, under the smiling, mischievous eyes of Thomas Merton, in artwork over the work table there. What began as the roughest of crystals, dredged from my winter brain, is emerging into a kind of gem, I think: It has its shape now, and merely needs to be polished and faceted, in order to really shine.

I won’t reveal the title just yet, because I think it’s unique (no other book in the entire Amazon catalog has it!) and if some other writer were to steal it…Boy, would I be pissed! I even have the cover blocked out in my head. Again, too early to share. But I will tell you this much: It’s a woman’s book. Not to say that men can’t read it—and two of the main characters are male—but I can see my audience is going to be mostly female, and I will likely market it in that direction. In fact, you could call it Older Lady Chick Lit. Sorry Millennials, but let’s face it: You’re headed in that direction anyway, if you’re lucky.  It basically deals with two long-time marriages on the verge of collapse—and two ladies of a certain age (best friends) struggling with post-menopausal identity and, sexual issues… Yes, we still have sex at our advanced ages, with our imperfect, gravity-prone bodies, so deal with it. And note: Plum roles for a pair of aging actresses!  Hollywood, are you listening? Not that I want to sell out, but we might be needing a new roof one of these days…

I’m hoping to have prepublication galleys ready in September, with a possible release set for November. I don’t like releasing a book around the holidays—it tends to get ‘lost’– but it’s just how it’s all playing out this year.

I’m also going to try a little experiment in ‘trad’ publishing: I’m shopping around a little book compiled from this past spring’s ‘bluegrass pilgrimage’ blogs, which presents travel as a spiritual tool. I’m only querying little tiny publishers, and as soon as I get annoyed with the process (i.e., too many rejection letters) I’m going to call it off and maybe just publish them myself. But we’ll see where it ends up.

Now to send this post into the blogosphere, and jump on the commuter train to New York City, where I’ll visit my artist-barista sister at her coffee shop on the High-Line, then head uptown to read some naughty poems by Thomas Merton at the library with the lions out front—if the master of the Rare Books room allows me that privilege. And will try to stay away from the stores on Fifth Avenue and 34th street, which I can’t afford anyway.

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