After the Fire has a new cover!
People have been asking me when book two is coming out for this series, and I'm going to shoot for mid-2014. I don't know when I got so busy, but I'm pretty excited to continue this story. There is still so much to cover and so many directions to go. As of this moment, this will be the cover for book two:
Check back here for more info on this!
I was recently asked why I feel like I have to work on my books so quickly and obsessively. It's a good question. Sometimes I forget that not everyone thinks about their work every second of every day until a project is done. I make playlists for each of my books and pretty much listen to them nonstop until I write the last word. (Of course, by that time listening to the same tracks makes me physically nauseous because I've heard them so many times) I eat, breathe and speak the characters' motivations. I wake up thinking "What would this person do about..." I fall asleep asking myself the same questions.
So, yeah. I'm an obsessive person. Most people that know me even a little bit recognize this about me. But that's not why I work on my books so voraciously once I start them. Being obsessive is only the reason I stick with writing. The truth is that I write the books quickly because it hurts not to.
Sounds crazy, right? I know it's insane. But as writers we have a responsibility to feel the things our characters do. To understand why they act the way they act and do the things they do. To hurt the way they hurt. And I have a tendency to write very broken characters that are in a lot of pain. And if they're not in pain in the beginning, they will be in the course of the story. In Jenny Undead, the book I'm currently working on, Jenny is probably the most well-adjusted character I've ever written. In the beginning, anyway. Things get very messy (literally and figuratively) for Jenny very quickly. So as Jenny's pain and manic behavior increases, so does my drive to finish the book. The fact that she started as a relatively even person seems to even increase my internalization of her pain. And thus, my obsession with finishing the book increases exponentially with every page. As the book works up to the frenzy that it eventually becomes, the same thing happens in my head.
I guess it's a good thing. I feel my characters strongly, which is what makes the writing work. But I'm sort of screwed when it comes to having a normal life. And one of these days my husband is going to turn to me and say, "You know, J.L., I think I'd like to talk about something that doesn't involve fictional characters." And on that day I'm going to stare at him dumbly and realize I have absolutely nothing else to say.
Being a writer is hard sometimes. But I'm pretty sure being married to a writer is worse. And maybe someday I'll learn to take it down a notch and work on a book like a normal person goes to a job. But for now, I'll keep being crazy, I'll keep being frenetic, and I'll keep writing crazy-ass fiction that makes people go "what the hell is wrong with that girl?" And I'll keep writing to make my characters' pain go away.
J.L. Murray is the bestselling author of the Niki Slobodian series, After the Fire, and Jenny Undead.