The Follow-up

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what I will write next. I know I want to give it the old sophomore try, but what’s next?

I certainly could pick up where A Light in the Dark left off. I miss the characters enough that I could selfishly do that. Spending all that time with Dez and Sabrina was cathartic and comforting and I pick the book up often just to go back there and be with them. I am not sure hearing more from them though is necessary for readers.

I do have a few ideas and one that definitely won’t go away. It involves a character who is deeply struggling with a spouse’s sibling-a sibling who has always been the black sheep, the mess-up, the addict, tugging and manipulating everyone for years. I already have a beginning in my head and it’s a doosy.

It will be tough though. It might hit close to home and it already does for me although the dynamic is different. But there is something about the pain and anguish you feel from watching someone you love be mistreated, lied to and disrespected over and over again-it launches powerful feelings of anger and hate all because you want to protect that person from the manipulator and themselves, too.

I have little tolerance for it and I guarantee you that my main character will not either. It’s a lonely place, the world of little tolerance and it creates such conflict I can’t resist the story. Much like the story of Dez and Sabrina, I think it needs to be told. It’s a point of view that is often neglected but so rich with tenacity, fueled by loyalty, desperation and the desire to achieve what should be rather than what is allowed to exist.

I believe it was Holly Hunter’s character in the movie “Always” that said it best. “I love you, Pete . . . but I’m not enjoying it.” It’s the catch 22 of loving and caring about someone. It’s not blue skies and butterflies all the time. There are a million ways to complicate it. This will be my next story.