I did not realize at the outset just how many people would be curious about the fact that I am writing a novel. Perhaps I should have anticipated their interest, as I myself spent a fair chunk of last year asking people I knew what it was like to write so many words, among other things. Now, I’m nearing the end of a book called Only Begotten Sons, and it’s my turn to be interrogated.
I thought it might be helpful if I answered a few of the common questions I’ve gotten.
When will it be published?
Well, a better question might be, When will it be finished? I hit the fifty thousand word count established by the folks who run National Novel Writing Month, but my novel still lacks an ending. I need a little space now to think about it, and then I can try to wrap it up, maybe in January…
On top of this, books don’t sell that well anymore, unless you write for teenagers or–ahem–horny, repressed housewives.
What’s it about?
It follows three generations of the Merlo family, from the 1960s to the present , as they struggle with commitments both familial and spiritual. It is at its heart a book about family, but there are some magical-realist elements, too. There is also plenty of explicit sex, but I don’t think the aforementioned housewives will find it titillating.
Can I read it?
You can read this part, because it’s been spell-checked and works fine in its own way. This thing needs a major edit to clean up some of the exposition-heavy dialogue and tighten the focus before it goes out to everyone. I do have three or four copies floating around to get feedback, but most likely you’ll have to wait. If I don’t publish, in all likelihood, more bits will show up on here over the next year.
Is NaNoWriMo hard?
Only when you lose the story or you get too far behind. You’re writing for speed, to get it out of you. If you go on a tangent, you just chase that shit and try to make it the most interesting thing you’ve written yet. (This explains why my novel lacks focus.)
Does being an author mean literary groupies will descend on you and fulfill your every desire
It’s only been a week since I “won” NaNoWriMo, but so far, no. Maybe when I get an ending?
Are you getting divorced?
Only if I cultivate a pack of literary groupies. So far, no. And actually, my wife is the one who made me keep writing, so the hell with groupies.