As I struggle through the query trenches, I have taken up other projects to distract me from the torture of waiting for feedback. I outlined three companions to THE LEGACY OF THE EYE and started drafting one of them, the prequel DEAR KATHERINE.
I also experienced bursts of creativity, where random stories kept me awake at night until I wrote them down (like this one). They did not fit the science fiction world I had created; they leaned toward fantasy. The three plots I outlined shared the same comment, to "think of an interesting world." I had no idea where to set these stories or to which time period they belonged. I just knew they needed a historical feel.
So I set about looking for where and when. I needed something unique, but something I knew about enough that research would not become a nightmare. I wanted a project that would distract me, not a burden.
And now I am immersed in the colonization of South America and the exploitation of family values. I have researched the history of hammocks, looked into the vegetation of snow-capped equatorial mountains, and am currently delving into the languages and habits of indigenous tribes. Twenty-five thousand words into the first draft, I can feel the first novel in this project taking shape.
Best of all, the two other stories I outlined fit this world perfectly.