Last week, my fellow Miss D Keenan Powell wrote about her emotions after completing a manuscript (Woe is me! – Miss Demeanors). To quote her: “I float around for three days in the state of afterglow.” In the comments, the words celebration and cloud nine figured prominently.
Not me. I just turned in the manuscript for A Collection of Lies, Book 5 in the Kate Hamilton Mysteries, and I’m in mourning. The book actually took eleven months to write, but the final three months were intense. I spent almost a year with those people in Devon, England. How can I blithely say, “Goodbye—nice knowing you?”
A BOOK HANGOVER
The feeling of depression and sadness after finishing a book has been called a book hangover, an experience similar to a romantic break-up or the death of a loved one. That goes a bit too far, in my opinion. Nobody died—well except the victims. But I am grieving.
WHAT DO I DO NOW?
My head tells me to begin plotting out a new book. My heart is stuck in the old one.
It takes time for me to feel comfortable in a new book, to get to know new characters. I want to linger in that old manuscript—polishing, revising, tweaking, enjoying the company of old friends—when what I need to be doing is settling down and making myself at home in the next book. It will happen. I love that moment when the previous book fades into memory and the new book gets its hands on me. It takes time.
HELLO AND GOODBYE
Like life, reading books and writing them requires a series of hellos and goodbyes—letting go of something so you can take hold of something new.
Do you find it hard to get into a new book?
As a writer or a reader, which book or series are you still mourning?