So Suicidal Maniacs is out in the world and I can begin a new book, well, two new books. I’ve got an ’emergency project’ – a non-fiction book I’m co-authoring that needs to get out right away, so that project takes precedence (just for a nanosecond) over my next novel that I’ve outlined and already have bits and pieces written in various journals.
And non-fiction is like taking a breather. It’s just real. It doesn’t have to be really real.
That’s a distinction an editor made for me years ago, and I remain eternally grateful. I handed him the completed manuscript for a book I wrote on ending violence in families, and sighed, “Wow, now I can get back to my real work.” I realized what I’d just said – to my boss in effect. It wasn’t too late, though, to take it back, so I tried: “That’s just how tired I am, and turned around, that I think writing fiction is more real than a book on ending family violence.”
He shook his head and was emphatic: “No, you are absolutely right about that. This non-fiction book is about real issues, but what you do with you fiction? That’s what is really real.”
So now as I move on to this non-fiction book I relax and will just try to be real.