An Update on My Next Novel

As promised, here’s an update on my next book!

On Tuesday I sent my fifth novel to my publisher. I don’t have a release date or a title yet, but I’m excited that the manuscript has reached this point. (I should note that there’s no guarantee that my publisher will want it, but finding out if they do or don’t is the next step.)

I have a long list of possible titles, but right now I’m just calling it my WWI project. Yep, I’m writing about a different time period (only thirty years earlier, but still, it’s something different). I’ve wanted to write this book since Espionage, because it’s about Jacques and Genevieve’s father.

Jumping into a new time period was tough—I had to do a ton of research for this book. I enjoy research, but it is time consuming. Add in what was going on in my personal life (pregnancy and the birth of baby number three), and maybe it’s not so surprising that this one took almost a year and a half to write, even though most of my other books have taken closer to a year.

This book is slightly different from my previous four books, and not just because of the time period. It’s more historical fiction than historical thriller, though the pacing is still brisk and it’s still about soldiers and spies. During the writing and revision process, the change in sub-genre sometimes made me nervous. Should I change the beginning? The middle? The end?

As usual, I did extensive revisions. But I still wasn’t sure if the book was ready. In the past, I’ve felt that each book I wrote was better than the one before it, or at least more marketable. Practice brings improvement in most skills, and that’s certainly true with writing. But with this book, I wasn’t sure. Was it as good as Deadly Alliance or The Rules in Rome? What would readers think?

Then last weekend it finally hit me. My book is about kindness. Kindness between friends, kindness for strangers, kindness for one’s enemy, and kindness from God. And the world could use a little more kindness. With that realization, I felt ready to send the book in. I’m certain the manuscript will change between now and when it’s available for readers. That’s normal. But for now, I feel good about this manuscript, and I’m looking forward to the next steps in the publishing process.

Here is the book's map, created by Briana Shawcroft.

Here is the book’s map, created by Briana Shawcroft.

I’m still working on a short summary of what the book’s about. Here are two ideas (please let me know which you like better, or if I should do some more brainstorming):

1) When war seems impossible to win from the trenches, a group of Allied spies take the fight to the backstreets of Paris and the factories of Essen.

2) A brief meeting and a small act of kindness bind a soldier and a peasant woman, and neither can forget the other. Both are destined to fight against the same enemy league of spies and saboteurs. But in a world torn apart by war, few people get a second chance at love.