For Led Astray, book two, I had a little trouble getting the beginning just right, but I knew the characters and also the faith message I desperately needed to put into the book. There was a lot of editing before I sent it to my editor as I had 'lecture mode' turned on when writing some of it but I worked it all out. I loved seeing how Danita Ballinger and Riley Coole came not only to understand about each other--but themselves as well.
The basic plot for book three Safe and Sound (coming Nov 1, 2012), came to me in the middle of writing Led Astray and I had to take a short break from book 2 to jot down the ideas for book 3. I couldn't wait to dive into it. I was itching to write the story. I started off strong, but soon learned the book wasn't going to be the 'breeze' writing I had assumed. I struggled with this book. The way I envisioned and mapped out wasn't working. It was like the images in my head didn't quite match the words on the screen.
As it had a Christmas time setting, I had Christmas music in the background. While it helped create the mood, I found myself not knowing what came next at many times. It wasn't until I fought through to the end that I discovered it was my preconceived ending that kept the book off balance. The story and the characters needed a different ending then the one I planned. Even knowing what I needed to do to make the book work, I was still hesitant. It was such a different ending. Not just from what I intended, but also from how suspense books usually go. After asking for advice on the change, and getting some thumbs up, I went for it.
The third time wasn't the 'charmed' writing experience I had dreamed it would be. But, it was the writing experience I needed it to be to grow as a writer.