April brings the start of a new book, the first in a series of three. Which means I not only have to plot out a story, but I have to plot out a series so the character will continue to grow and change over the course of all three books.
This is the Fairlawn series,which will be published by Tyndale House, and the concept in a nutshell is this: a big city woman inherits a small-town funeral home and has to run it to provide a home for herself and her two sons. Because I know from the start that this will be a three-book series, I’ll be able to make some long-term plans in terms of the character arc.
I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately–no, I’m not sick, but I am halfway to 96, so I realize I have a finite number of years left . . . and a finite number of books left in me. This realization has fueled my energy, and made me realize that every book has to COUNT for something of eternal significance. So I want the Fairlawn series to entertain first, and teach about heaven and eternity and trust.
The Red Hatters of Heavenly Daze will come into play in this book (and that’s too long a story to explain here), and I’d like to incorporate some of the elements of humor I used in the writing of the Heavenly Daze series. I do write humor on rare occasions, and some of my other books have been so involved with life-and-death issues that I’m looking forward to the change of gears. I’ll need to balance the grimness of life and death situations with lighter moments.
So the month of April is devoted to travel (to Virginia, Atlanta, and Florida), and reading about funeral homes, embalming, and heaven. I have dozens of books in my TBR stack, and I can hear them calling my name . . .
P.S. Clarification–I know some readers are yearning for more Heavenly Daze books, but the Fairlawn series isn’t a spinoff . The Red Hatters of Heavenly Daze are real people, not fictional folk, who have kindly agreed to let me use their “red hatter” names in the Fairlawn book. Thank you, Dazers! (BTW, I met Dazer Edna Rhea today in Lynchburg! So nice to meet her!)
With my homework done, I’ll start the actual writing in May, Lord willing.