Starting another novel

Unremembered Lives is about ready for my agents to send out to publishers. Usually I have a little break between novels, but this time I started the next one almost immediately.

It’s a story I’ve thought about telling since before I started writing The Sparrow back in 1992. Now’s the time to tell it. This one will bring me full circle — back to anthropology, back to religion, back to elements of history that have interested me for decades.

The first two chapters just flew into existence. The structure is clear to me. The tone feels natural. This is going to be a walk, right?

Reality set in yesterday. It’s like I was on a hike that started with a very gentle slope on a path that took me straight to the bottom of a gigantic mountain of ignorance.

Yes. I went into a swoon.

But this is typical. All my novels have required a lot of research. Today I will start ordering books and digging through the Internet and accumulating what I need for the next chapter and the next and the next. One step at a time.


45 thoughts on “Starting another novel”

  1. That’s the way all good writing proceeds. Since I was introduced to you via The Sparrow back in the 90’s, I at age 82 hope that you make your way up that gentle slope with eagerness and some rapidity, so that I can appreciate what intrigued you back then and again now.

  2. This news makes my day. Really happy that you are returning to anthropology, religion etc. I loved The Sparrow.

    Have a great day!

  3. Looking forward to whatever this next project is – Your accurate ties into actual historical events is the highlight of your work for me.

  4. Oh, I’m excited! Those elements are what I love most about your writing. I am not a writer but a librarian, and the research part of your writing process sounds fascinating to me! “Good luck” doesn’t sound like the right sentiment…maybe “Good travels on this journey”!

  5. Have you completed the book about the miner’s strike in Calumet, MI and deaths of the children in the theatre.
    Sue Acocks

  6. I am half-laughing just now. I read with delight your comments above and was thrilled by them. All of your books have been splendid, but The Sparrow and Children of God, for me, tower above all novels I have ever read. Then, as with you, reality set in. I’m 86 1/2 with a few ailments….what’s chances of me being around to relish this book so recently underway? Hmmmmmmm.

  7. Sending an encouraging word to you. Keep going. We need your stories. I completely understand the “gigantic mountain of ignorance.” It’s so true for many of the things we try to understand or want to accomplish. Dammit!

  8. Bravo!! Another of your books I will look forward
    to reading whenever it is finished!!!
    Warmest wishes,
    Zuki Ann

  9. I’m so anxious to read and review UNREMEMBERED LIVES! But I’m also looking forward to the book you’re working on. So hurry up. 🙂

  10. Now is the time Mary!
    It seems that as we grow older and there is so much darkness in the world, we need to activate our creativity in the highest possible way.
    You are amazing!
    What would we do without those mountains!
    You are writing up a storm, and I am painting up a storm. Amen!

  11. Now is the time, Mary. It seems to me that as we grow older we need to activate our creativity in the highest possible way. You are amazing with your willingness to take on the challenges of the mountains.
    Best to you.

  12. Looking forward to your new book and excited about the next one. I loved the anthropological approach in The Sparrow and Children of God. I never really thought about them as science fiction. Wish our “leaders” (and others) understood more about cultural differences. Keep on keeping on. –Dorie

  13. Man oh man, I hate the term ‘full circle’. It makes me think that it’s code for ‘I’m done’. I hope it’s not true in this case.

  14. You’ve piqued my curiosity ! Whatever the storyline, we’ll hike and swoon along with you, Mary. Can’t wait!

  15. How exciting! Thanks for the update! The Sparrow was the first book of yours I read and will never forget it. We eagerly await it’s future release!

  16. Thrilled to hear this and definitely intrigued. I wish you all joy and strength as you climb the mountain. I’m not sure I don’t enjoy the research more than writing (smiley face).

  17. We are certainly looking forward to reading and selling Unremembered Lives. Those of us living in the Upper Peninsula still talk about this event. There is also a new non-fiction book entitled Grown-Up Anger (Wolff) that is about Woody Guthrie and the Italian Hall disaster. History remains alive and relevant in the U.P.

    Thanks for all of your work. Dianne @ Snowbound Books

  18. Yes a journey of a thousand mile is taken one step at a time! Your books are long wonderful journeys that unfold chapter by chapter.
    What historic era does it take place in?

  19. If/when a publisher buys Unremembered Lives and if/when they decided to send me out on a tour and if/when they put Milwaukee on the itinerary, I’d love to come back!

  20. I am so excited to hear this. I, too, loved The Sparrow and The Children of God. They were my first introduction to your writing and I was quickly hooked. The genres of these books are such a unique combination that I have not found anywhere else. I am excited for you return to those again.

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