So When’s The Next One?

What a pleasure it is to already have people wondering when Girls Wearing Black Book 4 will be done!

Of course, at this point, the best answer is ‘I don’t know.’ An equally candid but vague answer is, ‘As quickly as I can get it done.’

Last fall, I told people asking about Book 3 that I would love to have it done by the end of February. Ten drafts later, I published it in July.

It’s just so tricky to say. Sometimes the stories come together quickly. Other times, I have to keep fiddling for a while.

Those of you who have read The Rose Ransom may recall the scene where Renata gives a dramatic performance for the students. All the early drafts of the book got stuck at that scene. I knew I wanted the legend of The Rose Ransom to be a dramatic performance (a ‘play within a play’ ala Hamlet), but nothing I tried seemed to work. I had students performing the play in the first attempts. Annika had a major role in the performance in draft 1.

I had Renata’s slaves putting on the play in later attempts, with Frankie taking centerstage. Later, I tried writing that scene with a group of vampires as the performers. In that attempt, I realized the potential of a group of vampires putting on a play and how they might use their powers to manipulate the audience. This is where the scene started to work, but still wasn’t quite correct.

It wasn’t until late in the process that it came to me to let Renata put it on as a one-woman show. Once I tried that, it worked like a charm.

And now, on my laptop, I have hundreds of pages of discarded attempts to write The Rose Ransom play.

Contrast that with ‘The Scrum’ scene that comes right before the performance. The Scrum was a one and done piece of writing. Once I decided I wanted that scene in the novel, I sat down and banged out all 6,000 words of it in an afternoon. Nothing more than a bit of editing and that scene was finished.

So, for Book 4, if I have a lot of scrums, the book will be finished in a month or two. But if I run into a couple Rose Ransom performances, well, then it gets harder to quote a date.

Still, I hate to be totally vague when people really want to know, and today I’m going to tell you that my goal is to publish Book 4 by mid-November. For selfish reasons, I would love to get it out into the world in time for the holiday season. Last November and December I had a huge surge of paperback sales. I’d love to have another paperback in the mix for this season’s surge.

So please know that I am striving for that date. But also know that I wouldn’t dream of putting anything out there that’s less than my best. The Scrum scene made me happy on the first draft. The Rose Ransom performance didn’t. The same goes for Book 4. I want it to be in your hands ASAP, but I also want it to be the best book I’ve got in me, no matter how many drafts it takes.

Back to work! November looms!

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Betsy Hagen July 22, 2013, 10:01 pm

    I’ll just repeat what I said before – don’t try to rush a good book! 🙂 While I loved the Rose Ransom, there were a number of minor typos that might maybe have been avoided. (Less than ten, and no offense meant to your wife and editor! I’m just geared to spot syntax errors. 🙂 )

  • Spencer Baum July 23, 2013, 9:43 am

    Thanks so much, Betsy. I’m so glad to have you in my audience of readers. I really appreciate your review of Rose Ransom on Amazon!

    I’m sorry you found some typos — we went through that dang book so many times! I fear that because it was so much longer than the others we might have missed some things. I’ll go through the manuscript again this weekend and see if I can spot anything I missed before.

    And your comments about not rushing, as always, are greatly appreciated here.

  • Drew July 24, 2013, 4:28 am

    I finished the Rose Ransom in less than two days, and I absolutely loved it! I have been loyally following your books since the first one came out, and I really can’t wait to read book 4!

  • Spencer Baum July 24, 2013, 7:39 am

    Thanks Drew! I’m thrilled that you liked it! Comments like these make me inspired!

  • Marissa August 1, 2013, 11:35 pm

    I just have to tell you that not only do I love your books, but I appreciate you as a writer. When I come across a book that I like I always go on the writer’s website to see if they have something else out or in the works that I would want to read. Many times I’m disappointed to see authors acting like it is a burden to be asked about release dates and I find myself no longer wanting to curl up with their writing and enjoy. When I came to your website I saw someone who really loves the fact that he gets to tell these stories and connect with his fans. Thank you for that! I can’t it for book 4!

  • Spencer Baum August 2, 2013, 5:24 pm

    Thanks so much, Marissa! I’m so glad you like the books and appreciate your comments. I do indeed love to hear from readers about anything and everything and never feel burdened when someone is pressing for news on the latest release. Thinking that people are actually anxious to read what I write next gives me goosebumps, and I’ve found that it’s made me a better writer as well. With both Festival of the Moon and Rose Ransom, I felt pressure to ensure the existing fans weren’t disappointed, and I’m certain that pressure made the books turn out better.

  • Dee August 20, 2013, 10:41 pm

    3 books in 3 days! That’s right I started the series the day before yesterday and just finished book 3 moments ago. Naturally the first thing I did was searched for book 4 then went to your website for more details. I appreciate your honesty on the release date and in the meantime will look into some of your other work. You definitely have me hooked.

  • Spencer Baum August 22, 2013, 6:54 am

    Wow Dee! 3 books in 3 days! If only I could write them so fast! I’m pleased to have you in the readership. Thanks for the comment!

  • Amber August 27, 2013, 5:02 pm

    What a wonderful series!! I finished all 3 books in just one week and I am so excited to learn that there is more to come! Keep up the great work and I will do my best to stay patient for book 4. For now I am telling all my friends about this amazing series and getting them hooked just like I now am!

  • Spencer Baum August 27, 2013, 11:29 pm

    I appreciate it Amber! Glad you liked the books and I’m always grateful when readers spread the word.

  • Joanie September 28, 2013, 3:39 pm

    Spencer, I enjoyed the first three books very much! It took me about a week, only due to my pesky day job interfering with my reading time. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the next one to be released and my fingers are crossed for November! I read a lot during my commute every day. It’s rare that I find books with such intriguing plot lines and well drawn characters. Keep up the good work!

  • Desiree January 28, 2014, 7:42 am

    Hi Mr.Baum, my name is Desiree and I really loved your books. I don’t want to wait for the next book but as I tell my kids patiences I’ll try to listen to my own advice lol. So how do I start I am a big huge Goodreads fan and I found your books through some of my friends on Goodreads.I put your three books on my account Jan 22, 2014 and Started to read them on the 24th and finished on the 27th. My kids were out of school from snow and the holidays are done so I get to start to read again. So school out, cold outside best time to pick up a good book and your three were really good. I hope the 4th book is going well and not giving you any trouble. Will keep my eyes open on Goodreads for the next one. I love Jill and Nicky a lot. But I hope we get to hear about Sergio a lot more. The part with them in the last book got me good. amazing writing and a fun story. Thanks to you and all the other amazing authors we have in this world that are such great writers. without you writers I wouldn’t have a great story to xscape into every once in awhile.
    Thanks again.

  • Spencer Baum January 28, 2014, 1:23 pm

    Thanks for the great comment, Desiree! I’m thrilled to hear that the books connected with you so much, and I love to hear about readers who plow through all the books in a short time. Rest assured, there will be plenty of Sergio in Book 4!

    Have a good one.

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