Over the past several months, avid readers seeking the third book of my Canadian historical fiction series have sighed in disappointment that they must wait. And I’m receiving more emails and facebook messages from Canadians and Americans (Pennsylvania and Arizona most recently) saying, “Now our neighbours are begging for the third book!”
Sharon and Diane, sisters in Regina wrote: “We want you to know how very much we have enjoyed reading both Arriving and Thriving, and are eagerly awaiting your next one. Reading your books has kept us spellbound from start to finish.” And from Christina, “I brought your books with me to Weymouth, Nova Scotia. I shall pass them on to my friends, knowing that they will love the characters and their stories as much as I did. Can’t wait to read what happens to this family next!”
What an adventure the last two years have been, beginning with the launch of Arriving: 1909-1919 on October 29, 2011. I am amazed that with the pending release of Choosing I shall have published three books within 23 months. I find it even more unbelievable, but immensely thrilling, that so many readers have made comments like Kelly’s: “Thanks for writing such beautiful books. They are amazing. It’s the first time I’ve read novels about Canadian history, and I truly enjoyed them!”
Still, as we prepare for September 29th, I have ambivalent feelings about what a friend recently identified as “the conclusion” of my trilogy. The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines “conclusion” as “a final result: a termination”… which got me to thinking.
Whenever I reflect on the journey that I began in 2002 at 57 years old, I still recall my excitement at finally pursuing my lifelong dream of writing a novel. I had read that the average author strives to write 300 to 500 words per day, the equivalent of half a computer page. Thinking that that seemed achievable, I began what would eventually become my 800-plus-page trilogy.
On March 2, 2011, a day I shall always remember, I started the epilogue, “The old farmhouse was still standing. It had been ten years since August had opened the invitation to the first Warner/Werner Family Reunion.” By that time, it seemed I was almost in a trance. To my amazement, when I typed the final period at 5:30 that evening, I had written 4,000 words (6 full computer pages).
Perhaps it is little wonder that I am now reluctant to “conclude.” I prefer to call the publication of book three, Choosing: 1940–1989, the completion of the Werner/Warner family story and just the beginning of my Understanding Ursula trilogy.