News, commentary, and fiction by Barb Hendee, co-author of the Noble Dead saga (www.NobleDead.org); author of the Mist-Torn Witches series, the Vampire Memories series, and more.

The October Writing Cycle

Since our books have been "due" on the exact same months for years, we've unconsciously seemed to develop a writing rhythm that revolves around the seasons.  I write a Vampire Memories book in the spring, and then in early summer, we start outlining the next Noble Dead book together.  This may seem strange, but outlining a Noble Dead book is by far the most time consuming aspect.  It takes a number of months.  We brainstorm and work on the outline in the morning, passing it back and forth, and then we work in our veggie garden in the afternoon.  Here in Oregon, summers are surprisingly warm and dry.  People who visit are often quite surprised by how little it rains from June through September.  Then in October . . . the sky turns gray, and the rain becomes relentless.  That's also when we complete the Noble Dead outline and turn to serious drafting, holed up in our little house, watching the veggie garden beginning to fade, but I always feel both very driven and very content to write every day, bringing our outline to life.  We will continue this through January, when the book is due.  Then I kind of mentally collapse for a month, and then I gear up to write a Vampire Memories novel . . . and the whole process starts again.  It will rain here from now until May.  But I don't mind at all.