It’s a little weird talking about the progress I’ve made on book three of the Sand Dancer series when book two hasn’t even been released yet. But that’s what authors do; we live in the future! I’m already thinking about book four and where that’s going to go.
Of course, I can’t really talk about the story or the characters. Book one of Sand Dancer can stand on it’s own, whereas the upcoming Fire Walker does end in disaster which doesn’t get resolved until the third book, so you see, these two books are especially connected! Which won’t come to a surprise when you learn these two books were one big book that I was forced to cut in half.
So, book three!
I can’t actually remember when I started drafting this book. Is that bad?
There’s another weird aspect to writing this book; I wrote Fire Walker in 2019 and finished the draft and first round of edits for that in the first half of 2020. The third book has been written throughout the pandemic. I can’t say its been fun. This pandemic has certainly had a negative impact on my creativity and productivity, and I’m not the only writer who’s struggled. It’s incredibly difficult to sit your ass down and force the words out when the world around you is falling apart.
I know how lucky I am to be able to write. I’ve been fortunate enough to work from home and quarantine myself. With my health issues, I’m at greater risk if I catch the coronavirus. I know people who haven’t been so lucky. People who have lost jobs, cancelled weddings, lost family members.
The third Sand Dancer book is also quite a bleak story. It’s set during a war. There’s a lot of fire and blood and death including the deaths of some named characters people are gonna hate me for. I’ve tried to inject a little happiness where I could, but it’s an interesting coincidence that the darkest of the Sand Dancer books thus far has been written during the hellscape that is 2020.
So yeah, I have procrastinated this book. I’ve struggled. I’ve played more video games than I should have. I’ve eaten more cake than I should have! But we got there in the end, and honestly, focussing on writing this book has been its own form a therapy. Nothing makes my soul happier than writing, even if this year has made it hard.
Book three has stumbled in at a sharp 135,000 words. That could change in edits, of course, but it’s always nice to reach a milestone.
I’m not sure when this book will see the light of day, hopefully sometime in 2021, and whilst it is a dark journey, it’s still a Young Adult fantasy adventure.
Which means, like life, there’s always hope at the end.