After finishing the third draft of The Driver’s Wife in January, the question was, “What next?” I try to let drafts breathe a while before tackling the next. I’m hoping one more draft will see The Driver’s Wife ready for my agent to start peddling. So while I let those pages age, I’ve turned my attention to my New Year’s resolution for writing which was to revisit an old manuscript of mine from sixteen years ago (can’t believe it’s been that long!). It’s a Civil War novel, working title The Edge of Hell. Hopefully Jack Mallory and company won’t mind my literary interlude with other characters. 😉
The Edge of Hell was a joy to write. I traveled all over while researching: Washington DC, Georgia, Tennessee, various archives and libraries in Michigan, etc. The research even led to my first publication credit, a featured article in America’s Civil War magazine. To this day I’m still very proud of that article. First of all, the editor liked my initial (short) article so much that he asked me to expand it so they could use it as a feature story. Secondly, the only words of the article that they altered were the final paragraph (something I wish they hadn’t done because, of course, I believe mine was better). I had some great experiences, especially while visiting the Chickamauga battlefield.
So anyway, I dug out the old manuscript. While the writing needs an overhaul (it is way too sparse), the story and characters are still strong. I also unearthed some of my research, including resurrecting (with the help of another writer) old computer files stored on a floppy disk; you know, the kind no computers have anymore. It was a joy to reacquaint myself with some of the real-life characters detailed in the files.
So for now my goal is to re-work this manuscript with the hopes of marketing it again. I’m a ways into it already and enjoying it once again. It feels like visiting a much-loved old friend. 🙂