Back to when I met with Deb in Berkeley in February: One of the topics high on my list (and hers) was discussing future novels. This was the first serious conversation we had about going beyond the first three. I pitched a brief synopsis of what Darcy 4 included at that time as well as telling her about the separate novel centering on the romance of Georgiana Darcy that was halfway completed. She was extremely enthusiastic. This made me very happy, naturally, but especially since branching out with Georgiana’s story was something I had been inspired to do totally on faith. Well, I suppose that is true of all authors. We write what is in our head and heart, always hoping that someone will want to publish it. I had reasons to believe that Deb would be agreeable, but you never know for sure in this industry! I went on to tell her about other ideas spinning in my brain – nothing that has been ascribed to paper but just thoughts for future novels – and she loved it all! That, as you all now know, is when she went back to Dominique Raccah and received the go-ahead to offer me a contract for two more books!This conversation led to our deeper discussion regarding the reshuffling of The Darcys at Year’s End. The original idea was that the next two books would be Darcy 4 and Miss Georgiana Darcy. However, as I began looking at word counts, doing some elemental math, and imagining what additional material I would like to write for the Darcys, it became clear that I easily had 2 books besides Georgiana’s! Due to how the chronology plays out, Georgiana’s book cannot be read before the events that occur in what I am now calling Darcy 5. I hope I am explaining this clearly!
SO – Where I am at this point is in the beginning stages of putting Darcy 4 together. Obviously all the chapters taken from The Darcys at Year’s End will now be the beginning third. A large part of the story thereafter has already been written. I know what is going to happen and I also have numerous ideas on additional portions to write, but it is still very much a work-in-progress. I have until June to get it together, maybe even July, but that will not be a problem. My handsome muse is on overdrive! Deb initially wanted to set a release date for April or May of 2010. I balked at this. Not because I couldn’t get the manuscript written, but because I know that after 2 books coming out back-to-back I am going to need a break. I was cool with July or August, but she decided to put it on the September 2010 lineup. That may change, but probably not.
Now, I know that it seems like a really long time, and I guess it is. But I firmly believe that quality is more important that quantity. I never want my books to suffer by being pumped out. I can write like crazy when the mood strikes – and it often does. However, I never want to scrimp on the level of research I do, the careful attention to words, and the depth of storytelling. I would like to think that the Darcy Saga is worth the wait. Plans remain negotiable and tentative, but if Darcy 4 arrives in September 2010 then Darcy 5 will follow probably in early 2011 (Feb/March). That, of course, is all I am under contract for at this time. My dream would be to see Georgiana’s story arrive very soon after Darcy 5 since the timelines overlap. We shall see, and naturally I will keep you all informed. I have lots of writing ahead of me, lots of work to do, but it is very exciting.
OK then! Now you know as much as me. Questions are welcome if I have been unclear on any points. Long live The Darcy Saga!!