My New Year's Resolution was that on January first, if my current novel had not yet earned an agent (or more happily a sale), I would start my next novel.
I am pleased to say that I have done so. While this new undertaking begins with some sadness for the current lack of interest in the previous one, I do feel that I have learned so much in the writing process and in making connections with authors and agents, that the current project may be even better. I am almost finished with chapter 1 of a science fiction romance (yes, Linnea Sinclair and Ann Aguirre have seriously influenced me in that genre), and I'm liking what I produce which is not always true.
But it's a mixed blessing. On the one hand, a good book is a good book. It's got an original storyline, interesting characters (in my opinion), and it fits in a genre that seems to be selling if not well, then better than science fiction space opera which is what Assassin's Nightmare falls into. If I can sell it, it won't matter if it was my first, second, or hundredth novel. Oh, working title is "Real" Love, by the way. On the other hand, it's a stand alone. Assassin's Nightmare is the first of what was planned to be at least a three-book series, all of which I've outlined and plotted in some detail. I've even got some scenes written in rough draft form for the other two books in that series. I love Vick Corren, Assassin's Nightmare's main character. I'd planned to spend years on her development. An earlier novel in that series, Slipped Disc (co-authored with my friend, Jen Lindman), featuring a different character in the same universe, is already written. It never sold or gained an agent, but I always felt that if I could sell Assassin's Nightmare, I might go back to Slipped Disc.
Writing "Real" Love feels like I'm abandoning the Agency Files series. I know that's not true, that Assassin's Nightmare is still being reworked with Linnea Sinclair's wonderful assistance and will go back out for a second round of agent perusal in a few months. And I do believe that someday, the series will see publication. But it still feels strange to leave it for awhile.
And it's frustrating that our earlier works are likely the nearest and dearest to our hearts, but, of course, the later ones will be the best written because we learn something with every word we write.