As I’m formulating the plot of the third book in my series, I’ve started working on a new novel, a standalone in a genre different from my series. I’m terrible at categorizing, mainly because I’m bad with labels of any sort, but to make things simple, you can say it’s historical fantasy, as part of it happens during WWII in the Philippines, while the other part happens in the early 2000s in Japan.
The story was inspired by something that happened to me one night over dinner and drinks. I was living in Japan at the time, working as an English teacher, and I was staying over at a friend’s. After a few drinks, I blacked out. The next day, I found out that I did some really weird, extraordinary shit. Eight witnesses saw it happen, and they told me what they saw, all with the same accounts. And they were all spooked about it. As was I, but it wasn’t something I could run away from. All I could do was try to forget.
For years, I tried not to think about that incident and even denied its veracity. I told some people about it, and they believed it happened—more than I did. Then I told more and more people. Every single person I told believed it happened, even though I was telling them from a dubious place.
I started to think about it more and wondered this: what would have happened if someone had recorded it? So, as a writer, I let my imagination run with that premise, and now I’ve got a story I’m eager to tell. Only part of it is true; the rest is fiction. Making a fictional account about it is sort of my way of dealing with what happened to me. You can say that I’m the actual work in progress; the book is just my way of looking at it from a different angle.
I really hope to finish the draft in October, and then the revision by mid-November. That’s all based on wishful planning, but I know very well that writing speed is hard to predict, especially when I’m running my author business. My plan is to traditionally publish this book, which means finding an agent. So, while I’m pitching agents, I’ll go back to my series and work on Book 3.