The Chicks are super happy to welcome back Laura Jensen Walker, author of the wonderful Bookish Baker Mysteries. She’s sharing an honest, inspiring post with us today…
It’s All About Timing
Thanks, Ellen for having me back again! It’s always fun to visit the Chicks.
I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more philosophical and accepting I become. In my younger days? Not so much. Rejections and disappointments used to devastate me. I took them personally. “You don’t want to publish my book? My magazine article? My short story? You hate me! I’m a terrible writer. A talentless hack. A striving wannabe. That’s the end of my career. I think I’ll crawl under a rock now and die. Or cry. Or both.”
Now I realize it’s all about timing. And it wasn’t meant to be—for whatever reason—at this moment in time.
Recently I learned that my cozy series haven’t sold as well as we had hoped they would. So, at this time, my publisher can’t offer me another contract. Nine months or a year ago that would have crushed me. Five months ago, I’d have been sorely disappointed. But now? I’m philosophical. It’s okay. It wasn’t meant to be. Not now.
To be honest, if I’d gotten another cozy contract, the timing wouldn’t have been good for me. I’d have had to stop what I’m doing to write a cozy mystery. And I don’t want to stop. I’m deep into the writing of another novel. A historical. My first. The book of my heart. A passion project I’ve been wanting to write since I was stationed in England in the Air Force more than forty years ago. Yes, FORTY YEARS. (Remember what I said about timing?) At long last the time has come for this rabid Anglophile to sit down and pen a WWII historical set in my beloved England, the land of my heart.
And you know what? I’m LOVING every minute of it! The words are pouring out of me. Sometimes I look at the paragraphs on the page I’ve just typed and think, who wrote that?
World War II is my favorite era and England is my favorite place. I’ve been reading WWII novels and watching movies and TV shows about WWII all my life. (The Best Years of Our Lives and Foyle’s War are particular favorites.) I think that’s why the writing is coming so easily—my whole being is saturated with this time and place.
So, although it’s disappointing not to get another cozy contract—I’d like to continue Teddie’s story with another Bookish Baker mystery or two, and Pastor Hope at Faith Chapel as well—but it simply wasn’t the right time. And that’s okay.
I’m not going to tell you what my WWII novel is about, or even the title. Yet. I don’t want to jinx it. (Plus, I’m a diehard pantser and the story is still unfolding.) But I’m hoping in a few more months I’ll have good news to share. And when (if) I do, you can bet I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops. There’s also another project—the book of my soul—I’m hoping to have good news about in the near future as well. Fingers crossed.
And now, excuse me, World War II England is calling me…
Oops, I almost forgot. I’m giving away a signed copy of my latest cozy, DEADLY DELIGHTS. PW says, “Lively characters complement the twisty plot.” Just comment and tell me about something in your life that may have been disappointing at the time, but you now see was all about timing. (Or… I have a milestone birthday coming up in late November. If you prefer, you can take a guess which milestone I’ll be celebrating ) Good luck!
About Deadly Delights: August in Lake Potawatomi, Wisconsin, always means one thing: the annual baking contest. Picture The Great British Baking Show, writ Midwestern. Naturally, bon vivant baker-turned-mystery writer Teddie St. John has a pie in the ring. The white baking tent boasts an array of folding tables housing each entrant’s daily baked good. And at one of those tables sits the corpse of the lecherous head judge, his face half-buried in a delectable coconut cream pie with Teddie’s distinctive embossed rolling pin by his side…covered with blood. With the help of her friends, Teddie must concoct a recipe to clear her name–if the real killer doesn’t ice her first.
Laura Jensen Walker is the author of 20 books, both fiction and non-fiction, including the cozy mysteries Murder Most Sweet, Hope, Faith, & a Corpse, and Deadly Delights. She’s loved mysteries ever since she read Trixie Belden in the fourth grade. Laura lives in Northern California, is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.