In January of 2014, I decided I needed a new challenge.
I’d written five novels for young people and thoroughly enjoyed doing so. But I was beginning to feel I was in a rut. Four of the books were set in Newfoundland. Four of them had bullying as a major theme. Was I a one-trick pony? (Writers often ask themselves the sort of questions you don’t really want to be answered. Or is it only me?)
So…I embarked on a medieval novel for young adults set in England. I read and read. Fortunately, the library of Dalhousie University has a huge medieval collection. I went to Wales and England to do research in September of 2014 (luckily my son did the driving on the left-hand side of the road, better for the safety of all concerned). I read and read and read some more, and started buying books, many of which were out of print. In January of 2015, I took the plunge, opened a file on the computer, and started writing. By May, I was beginning to realize the book was for adults. Another of those nasty questions reared its head: Who do you think you are, trying to write for adults?
I’m now at 83,000 words, the end is hovering somewhere in the distance, and my hope is to finish the writing by the end of 2016.
This is a long way of saying there will be no more books by Jill MacLean for the next year or more – a very different pace from the last few years. But I’m having fun, I’m a fount of useless information, and the characters are very much alive. Oh, yes, and it’s definitely a challenge.