My word! It has been a year since “The Year of Oceans” was published! This book is very dear to me. I put a lot of myself into it, wrestling with personal demons, and making peace with my life in the process. Publishing a book was always a dream of mine, and so to realize that dream was a big deal for me. More importantly is the outpouring of support I have received from readers and bloggers. The connections I have made with other writers, bloggers, and readers, has been perhaps the richest part of this whole experience. But that’s not even the most staggering thing.
The most staggering thing about all this is how different I am as a person now compared with who I was a year ago. One year ago, I was brooding, prone to fits of gloominess. Life felt very heavy to me. In short, I was super serious. I may still partially be this way, but there is another, more light-hearted, whimsical side of me that is fast emerging.
After “The Year of Oceans” I wanted to keep writing, but I needed a reason to justify it. With “The Year of Oceans”, I was working through grief and exploring it up close. Having dedicated the book to my late mother’s memory, the book took on a profoundly personal sense of significance. So, the question persisted, what was my reason for writing now?
After numerous false starts, including a story about high school friends with names like Claude and Wilson (they were awful drafts), I decided to take things in a different direction. At this point, I can’t say a lot about the specifics of my new project, but I can say that the first draft is nearly complete, that there will be a process of revising and editing, and that I will be submitting it to the same publisher to navigate the review process.
What I can say about this project is that I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people, particularly those who read the last novel. This novel that I am working on is lighter, funnier, more whimsical and magical, celebrating what it means to be alive and to live fully. It is an affirmation of being human, and consequently, it is much more fun. There are still heady, existential moments (would it be a Sean Anderson novel without them?), but they are always counter-balanced with humor, lightness, and whimsy. To answer the earlier question: my reason for writing was to create something that celebrates life.
I absolutely can’t wait to share this project with the world, regardless of what the release ends up looking like. I am thankful for my readers, and particularly, for my number-one beta reader, Alex.
So, one year later, I feel very thankful. I am thankful for life and health, for friends and family, and for the opportunity to be writing. I’m looking on the brighter side of things. Life may be hard and full of challenges, but there is always light.
There is much to be thankful for, friends. More to come soon.