I've never written a sequel before, you see, and The Wolf You Feed went through several incarnations without having reached The End, until now. If I was inclined to outline at any point before the final 8 events in a novel it would probably be helpful. Also, I had an epiphany about the whole damn trilogy. Namely, I set it in the American south, more or less (they're unabashed road trip novels, and sticking to one location does not occur), but I didn't really have good justification for that setting. It just was. Some of if was that I reference the Foxfire books, so picking the mountains in North Carolina worked well for that. However, much like Detroit, I've never been to the mountains in North Carolina (I've been to Cape Hatteras). And unlike Detroit, my characters never seemed to me as though they quite fit where I put them. With the narrator that makes sense and is part of the point. But the rest of them?
Cue my friend Kelly, who I've mentioned before, and who sent me an article on the New Jersey Pine Barrens last week. Now, I'm from New Jersey. I've been to the Pine Barrens, though where I'm from isn't considered to be in them (similarly to my North Carolina experience, I'm from the beach in New Jersey, born in Neptune and graduated from Wall High School). But thinking about the Pine Barrens in the context of my werewolves made a good lot of sense, like when you're putting a puzzle together and you finally finish all the edges and maybe one of the corners. And in the way of things, when you know as an author that something is right, little ideas within that idea have been coming to me. One of the main characters has a band, and I decided that, when referenced, the theme of her songs and albums were going to be urban legends, of which New Jersey has a few. Certain plot points fit in pretty comfortably with real existence down there.
And because one of the main characters has a band, I've been listening to music that I know is New Jersey based. I know you're surprised. but what will surprise you most is I'm not talking about Bruce Springsteen, but rather some more contemporary acts, like The Gaslight Anthem, who I have not seen perform, and Last Days of Empire, who I have. The fictional band is rather more like the latter than the former
So for writing goals this year, I'm on track so far. I've written 4 short stories, and finished a novel. Granted, I didn't start the novel from scratch, but I edited together the drafts I'd had so far, and wrote it to the end, so it's more than fair to count it.