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I'm not sure if other writers take extended breaks like this. But I know I'm just not ready to begin writing the new novel yet. I tend to need a break between big projects. And I'm loathe to get too distracted by side writing projects because I *am* working on the next Hemlock novel in the sense that I am in the process of imagining it. I've blogged about how I come up with story ideas before, so I won't go into detail about that other than saying that it feels more like a process of discovery than a process of invention. And the discovery process just takes some time...
So I don't have a lot to report about writing other than to say that I am very excited about finally writing Hemlock III despite not being in much of a hurry to actually begin writing it. It's going to deliver in terms of wrapping up Hemlock's story. But (and this was a revelation to me last week) it may not be the end of Hemlock's story. There could be additional books beyond III. But III is going to represent a major, major resolution to the conflicts in the series. Anything that comes beyond Book III will have to be something of a "reboot" of the "universe". But it will be possible. And only a week before I was convinced it wouldn't be! So I did get some new ideas, obviously.
I hope you are having a good summer wherever you are!