Thanks to everyone telling me how much they enjoyed my first novel, Lost and Found in Missing Lake, I was buoyed and encouraged to write its sequel, The Dragons of Missing Lake.
People liked Luke and connected with him and his friends. In general, everyone loved the idea of Tabitha and where she lived and they wanted to know about other dragons I mentioned in the book. Friends told me that when they read Jackie’s dialogue they heard it in my voice (I’ll grant you, that character is a bit on the nose.)
People wanted to know if certain references were made to people or things in my life. Or if the sled dog names all had meaning to me (most of them do). I did a bit more of that in the second book and its fun tucking in little bits of my own life when the characters themselves aren’t based on anybody I know (other than Jackie.)
And maybe Jackie’s clinic, which I envision having a similar floor plan inside to my own little Seeley Swan Veterinary, without the upstairs area.
This book came together a bit faster because I knew the process and I knew how I liked to work.
I always made sure nothing was distracting me in the house. Everything was tidy enough and the animals were all fed and watered (several of them joined me in the computer room all winter to help me write… little muses, all of them.) I would shower and make sure I was wearing normal clothes because I treat the writing process as my current job or profession. No writing after red wine has crossed my lips and I screen phone calls to limit distractions. Sticky notes surround the desktop and printer to keep me on top of little details I have written so I can remember how many sisters Josh has or what the dragons in Japan and Hawaii were named.
After some people had told me that the cover of my first book didn’t leap out at teenagers (my target audience), I decided to try a graphics artist. My husband suggested our friend’s son-in-law, whose artwork is catchy and unique. So I emailed his wife, who we’ve known since she was a little girl and she got me in touch with Ben.
Ben had told me at a book event we held in Bismarck earlier this year that he was hoping to break into children’s book writing and illustrating. This is his first cover and its fabulous! Everyone who has seen it just loves it and we included a bit more artwork as well. Ben read about the characters and learned who I wanted portrayed on the cover and why. He asked the right questions and I guess I gave the right answers because the cover is exactly what I wanted. I’m hoping this is a foot in the door for him. I will get his blog page and any website info posted on here soon.
The reviews I am getting on the actual story are out of this world. People are loving it. Tabitha shows up pretty early and has some big plans for Luke. Luke isn’t so sure he’s the right person for the job but there is no arguing with a dragon.
I don’t want to give away much more but I will say that there are no tragic moments like what happened to the noble sled dog, Robson in the first book. There is a sad part but it isn’t anywhere near the same type of sadness. Or maybe it is. I guess its up to you to tell me your thoughts.
Which is one thing that has been happening with this second book- I’m getting more comments and questions about where to take the story in the future (there is no doubt about a third book when you get to the end of this one.) I’m having long and meaningful conversations with friends about particular storylines and my reasoning behind how things have unfolded.
Sometimes I have no reason to take things a particular direction but most of the time I am thinking ahead to where I want things to lead. What I want Luke to learn. How I want him and his dad to develop as mushers. What roadblocks I am going to put in their way in this book or maybe the next one or the one after that. What Tabitha can teach us. What I want to share as a rural veterinarian in Western Montana.
This book is a blast.
It is available right now through all of the Amazon channels, just like Lost and Found in Missing Lake is and at the Grizzly Claw and the Double Arrow Lodge gift shop in Seeley Lake. They are also sold through me directly and we are having our first book event/sales this Friday at the Stray Bullet café in Ovando from 1pm-3pm. More events to come!
Thank-you, everyone for your support. If you want to share your thoughts or you think you have recognized a name or a reference, shout it out! (My brother, Danny nailed a few of them.) Thanks also for swinging by my page here. Happy reading! xo