As a pantser—someone who doesn’t plan my plots ahead of time (plotting by the seat of my pants)—it’s always with relief and dread that I see the end coming. Because the closer I get to the end, the closer I am to the black hole. The black hole is the void between books. As a rule, I can go right into the next one, provided the characters in my head are as vocal (if not as pushy) as Joey and Aaron. Usually when I’m a month or so away from an ending I have other characters who’ve been locked in a cage screaming to get out. (My mind is clearly a very scary place: cages, black holes,
There are a bunch of characters I’ve stored away to play with next, but none of them have started screaming yet. It may be that Aaron and Joey are just too strong right now to let anyone else have his say, but what if I am teetering on the brink of that black hole?
I don’t like being in there. I don’t like myself when I’m in there. I need characters to show me scenes as I drift off to sleep. (Thanks for that last sex scene, Joey. Talk about sweet dreams). I need words bursting out of my head so that I’m scribbling in my notebook at any point in the day. I need a reason for the times when I get caught talking aloud to myself—“I’m working out a plot point, thanks.” Of course, these days I may as well be talking on my Bluetooth as on a daypass, so maybe I won’t get carted off.
In an effort to stay out of the sucking void, I’m sending out a call to my muse, to Caleb and Wes and Tony and Jack and Ethan and Dev: C’mon, who wants it? You could be center stage in just three short weeks. I’ve got the keys, and I’m coming to let you out. Please, guys. I don’t want to go in the black hole.