From start to finish I spent nearly six years working on The Greatest Show on Dirt. Not straight through, of course, and I had to fit it in my spare time outside of my day job. Somewhere in there my son was born, which disrupted sleep schedules and curtailed my late-night writing, which is often my most productive time.
I figured certainly I could shorten that time frame up a bit for my second book, but looking back on things now, I see that I began working on it in the fall of 2008, when I cranked out several chapters for a fiction writing class at Writers and Books. Finally, about four major revisions later, I can see the goal line. I’m targeting a March 2014 release for Nine Bucks a Pound, which will mean just about six years have elapsed, once again.
I’ve learned some things about both writing and myself along the way that should help bring that down the next time around. I’d love to cut that down to two years for book three. Or maybe less. If I invest a little more time developing my secondary characters ahead of time, I’m sure it will save me a revision or two down the road. I had to completely recast three characters last fall after coming to the painful realization that they flat-out sucked. Flat being the key word there. They lacked depth, as if I had rung up central casting and asked for three bodies. I love their replacements, particularly my protagonist’s mother and father, who could almost tempt me into writing a separate book telling their story.
So what’s the new one about? Glad you asked. It’s another baseball tale, this time about a frustrated minor leaguer named Del Tanner who succumbs to the lure of steroids when his career begins to stall in A-ball. The big club is looking for more out of a first baseman than a soft .300 average and a slick glove. Del transforms himself into a run producer and works his way to the majors, but when his secret is exposed he must deal with the consequences. The title is a reference to what he spends on his first cycle of drugs compared to the muscle weight he adds over the offseason.
As we get closer to the launch, I’ll post an excerpt here. You’ll also be able to sample it on Amazon once it’s released. Six months seems like a long time when you’re a kid waiting for Christmas, but when you’re trying to finalize a book it goes by in a blink. I’m sure I’ll be wishing I could slow time down before I get there.