The King is Dead. Long Live the King

“He stared at what had once been the most sought-after mural in North America, smiled, and stumbled toward the ambulance. The End.”writers

There. The final final agent edits completed, as were changes from the publisher who swore he LOVED the book and would have it on B&N shelves no later than twenty-four months–thirty at the outside. I moved the four-hundred page file to the ‘completed’ folder, backed it up to Carbonite…

…and opened a blank Word doc.

“Who forgot to mention she had only ten minutes to live…” Good beginning, don’t you agree?

Ah, the writer’s life. The King is dead. Long live the King. Writing is never done. Always the next book bubbles away, waiting to pop. Then there are blogs, freelance articles, my newly-syndicated columns, reviews for Amazon and a few paying customers. There’s always some reason for my fingers to peck at the keyboard.

My mind wanders back to my just-submitted novel. Will readers understand those clever jokes I threw in? Will they get the illusion to Lou Holtz on pg. 98? Was I too subtle? Or too brash? And what if people don’t like the plot? Those customer reviews can be brutal. I’ve seen authors try to defend themselves and get buried in the backlash. I can’t stand criticism. I take it personally.

I slap myself–come on. Most are strangers having a bad day, but logic loses to emotion when that Amazon average star rating drops.

Truth, I will miss my characters–brilliant Kali, former-SEAL Zeke struggling to change his life, widowed Eitan, proud and passionate Paloma, and the quirky Otto. I’ve lived with them for two years. We talked more than I talk with my husband as I struggled to figure out their motivations, portray their reactions to the drama around them. I know they’re ready to move on from hijacked submarines and irrational terrorists to that calm that is the beginning of a new story, when life is good and events are predictable, those few pages at the start of a novel before the world spins out of control.

I want to give them that, but I have two storylines I’m writing. One is my brilliant female scientist with her robot sidekick Otto. The other is Lucy, a million-year-old female struggling to survive a world where man is not yet king. I miss Lucy  most because I haven’t visited her for, well, two years.

She’s calling and I can’t put her off any longer. I’ll talk to you later…



Jacqui Murray is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.comEditorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersCisco guest blog,Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Write Anything. In her free time, she is  editor of a K-6 technology curriculumK-8 keyboard curriculum, creator of two technology training books for middle school and six ebooks on technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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4 thoughts on “The King is Dead. Long Live the King

  1. What a wonderful, busy life you lead, Jacqui! Congratulations for getting the WIP finished and LOVED by the publisher – what a fabulous compliment!

    I also love that first line – great hook!


  2. Kim Stanley Robinson, who was kind enough to read a very early version of The Inlaid Table, gave me great advice about how to correct the weakest part of the story. He was right about that. He also told me to start writing the next story immediately. I’d already begun The Tree House Mother. The King never dies.


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