Monday, January 28, 2008


First, I'm sorry for my own silence on this blog. Sometimes I simply don't know what to say. I thought a vacation might help.

I am working on Silence, the final book in the Echoes Series. So far, I've written three or four different versions of this book and I'm still not quite satisfied. I'm working on Silence.6 now. It's coming along. I'm trying to keep my own opinions out of the book and let the characters tell me where to go. Trying to force the plot doesn't work for me.

I do think this latest version is the one you'll read. The others may pop up sometime, somewhere as short stories or novels with other characters. I like the ideas and I've saved them. They don't fit the Joshua Adams family, however.

In my last post I mentioned death. I know for certain one character who will die. I can go ahead and say that I won't kill Joshua. I thought about it but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I have been working with Joshua since 2002 and he's nearly a member of my family. When the series is done, I know I'll miss him.

Maybe that's why it's taking me so long to complete Silence. It's like sending a kid off to school the first time.

Be sure that I am working to make Silence worthy of my readers and good enough to carry the Echoes Series distinction.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What Do You Think About. . .

For the next few posts, I plan to ask you, the reader, what you think about decisions writers make.

My first question is: What do you think about the death of a favorite character?

This has been a topic of discussion on a couple of my writers' groups. Among the writers I know, there are different opinions. Some fear they will lose readers by killing a main or a favorite character. Others contend that death is part of life and our work should reflect that.

Imagine that you're reading a book and everything is going well. You like the style and you can identify, especially, with one of the characters. Now imagine that character dying--maybe from an illness or from an accident. How do you feel? Will you keep reading? Will you read the next book that writer produces or will you turn to more pleasant stories?

Some of my characters have died throughout Echoes Series books. The first death, in Echoes, was very hard to me to write and I actually mourned that character for sometime afterward.

I have been considering killing off a well-loved character. I've planned his/her (I won't give it away) death a few times but the story becomes bogged down. Maybe he/she shouldn't die.

What do you think about that?

Monday, January 07, 2008


I'm sure we all have plans. I hope 2008 will be a better year, for me personally as well as for others. I have the feeling it will be, though only Allah knows.

In March, if everything goes according to schedule, my publisher will be releasing the next book in the Echoes Series. Ripples, the fourth book in the series, is primarily about the next generation. Brad, Chris, and Isaiah are older. Their children are marrying and having children. And it's time for three of those children to take center stage.

The main characters of Ripples are Brad's son Kyle, Chris's son Isaiah, and Joshua's daughter Jennifer. They're all near the same age and have had similar experiences while growing up but young adulthood presents a special challenge to each of them.

Kyle must deal with limitations and loss. Isaiah confronts his father in a battle of faith and will. Jennifer navigates the challenges of a multi-cultural marriage and struggles to define herself.

In 2008 I also plan to attend more book fairs and Islamic conferences, insha Allah. Maybe I'll see you at one of them!