One thing you never want to do is go to the well once too often. Black & Single Blues was a hit at Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder as a series and there’s every reason to figure it’ll do well as a novel at Indie Gypsy Press. The sequel, Keith & Lesli: Black & Single Blues II also is doing bang-up business at MSR. And Indie Gypsy has agreed to consider it for publication. Bounced things back and forth with MSR senior editor Jerry Freeman who, along with publisher Tracey Williams-Dillard, got everything off the ground in the first place. Me and him dug the idea of Black & Single Blues III. But, I had to come up with a way to make it viable. At length, decided no soap. There just wasn’t enough gas left to keep it going. So I thought.
It’s interesting how writing can call the shots better than the writer. Happens to me all the time. For instance, every single one of my plays started with a male character as the protagonist. Every single one has wound up with a female taking charge. Figures, don’t it: they run everything else in your life, why not your profession, too? To the point, was quite content to close the books – no pun intended – and get on with other work. Principally, pulling the essay collection How To Find Love Without Losing Your Mind together for publication at Kindle/Amazon.com in tandem with B&SB at Indie Gypsy. Then, finish Ella Stanley (this time, I said to hell with it and made the protagonist an owner in the old Negro Baseball Leagues).
Content and greatly relieved to be out from under any pressure possible that there was no need to be under. Which is when I was sitting around between articles for MSR and Twin Cities Daily Planet and, idle hands doing the Devil’s work, got the notion to tinker with what might or might not pan out as a second sequel. Lo and behold, gotdamn and pass the gorilla biscuits if it didn’t begin falling together. Actually, unlike K&L: B&SB II, which simply followed the outline of the first one – that’d been the real problem, running the risk of doing the outline to death – I just let it come to me the same way the original story in Essence Magazine, One Going One Staying did. They call it “organic process” these days. Back when I was coming up, it was simply letting the idea happen.
Bottom line, things look good. In fact, feel good – that’s paramount. And I don’t have to sit around nagging at myself about why I didn’t pull the trigger that last novel, the final sequel that just wouldn’t leave me alone. So. Am getting that done – Freeman already agreed to serialize it – and can move on to all the other stuff on my plate. With relative peace of mind.
I’m sure knowing all of this will help you sleep at night.