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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Author Insight: Trunk Novels

How many trunk novels do you have, and is there one you'd like to revisit?

"I really only have one, and it’s not even complete. All the others are maybe 2 or 3 chapters of something that I started and abandoned. I’d love to take my trunk novel out, but it would need some seriously re-tooling. It’s kind of dated, and is sort of in that 'New Adult' category that I’m told isn’t actually a thing. I’d love to rewrite the main character as a 16-year-old, though!" - Lauren Morrill, author of Meant to Be.

"Probably 8 to 10. There are some good things in the brick that I wrote as my first big fantasy novel, but I’d pare back the worldbuilding. The quartet about the bestiary had promise, too, but it also needs a few dozen tentacles lopped off." - Margo Lanagan, author of The Brides of Rollrock Island

"I think I have around 8. Some came after I signed with an agent, and after I got published. There are a few ideas I’d like to revisit, but there’s a reason they’re in a box. I have definitely cannibalized ideas from a few." - Dan Krokos, author of False Memory

"I have three and a half. I will revisit one and a half of them." - Martha Brockenbrough, author of Devine Intervention

"I have only one fully written (and actually 3 or 4 fully written versions) 'trunk' novel that I have recently revisited. It's a book both my agent and I love on many levels, but it's never quite worked the way it needs to. I've finally stopped agonizing over this. Either  I'll get it right one day, or it was destined to be the nurse tree for everything that's come after it." - Joy Preble, author of Anastasia Forever

"There is one manuscript I occasionally pick up, work on a new draft of, and then set down again, because I’ve decided that nothing can make it better.  But that manuscript has actually spawned a couple others that are workable." - Greg Leitich Smith, author of Chronal Engine

"I don't have any finished novels I've trunked, though I have a couple half-finished ones. One I'd like to revisit. The other is in a genre that's too hot to handle right now, and I think I missed the boat. For the next few years, at least." - Kirsten Hubbard, author of Wanderlove.

"I have like, 20 books that are started, and I may pick any one of them up at any time. But since I've been writing novels since I was 14, I have many, but they're all so horrible they deserve to come in contact with a blowtorch." - Cyn Balog, author of Touched

"Five. I want to revisit them ALL! Mwahahaha! But definitely one a teacher of mine told me I couldn’t write because it was too complicated. I see it as a personal challenge to make that one great." - Dayna Lorentz, author of No Safety in Numbers

"No novels, but I have a bunch of failed picture books. I suspect they are probably where they belong – in the trash, gone forever, or tucked into a folder in a file cabinet. I have faith that the truly vital ideas will bubble up again in new forms." - James Preller, author of Before You Go

"I have three trunk novels and I’m only interested in returning to one. The first one is just too personal and it still breaks my heart to read it. The second one is so riddled with errors and plot holes that I can’t bring myself to look at it again." - Katie McGarry, author of Pushing the Limits

"I’ve got three finished novels and two partials on the shelf. One is set in Paris. From time to time, I think about getting it out again because I love the setting." - Sarah Tregay, author of Love and Leftovers

"So far, we don’t have a trunk novel (knock on wood). We do have two YA novels in process right now, one of which we’ve been working on for a long time, and we hope that both of them make it to publication, but you never know. We’ve made changes to one of them myriad times in an effort to get things working better. We would have a very, very hard time killing one of our novels. We’re both perfectionists and a bit relentless so we would probably try to fix whatever wasn’t working again and again in order to get the book right and, eventually, published, but sometimes things are beyond repair…we just haven’t gotten there…yet." - Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas, co-authors of From What I Remember

Find out Thursday if the rest of the authors have a trunk novel they'd like to revisit. 
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1 comment:

  1. I have lots of one or two chapter trunked things, too, but two novels that were completed. One, I completely deleted and pretend never existed. The other, I'm going to rip to shreds and use parts of to write a better necromancy novel than that one. Although I kind of love and miss it and wish I could re-write it in a way that made it good enough to publish.