J. Allen Wolfrum is a fiction author and former Marine based in San Diego, California.


Back to the Drawing Board

Back to the Drawing Board


I spent the week chipping away at the sequel to Selected, until I stumbled into a crisis moment yesterday morning. I realized that I can't write the sequel until I know what happened with the Dove Revolution. The Dove Revolution is what brought about the concept of the President, Senate, and Congress being selected at random. In my mind there are too many questions from that process that need to be answered before writing a sequel to Selected. 

I don't think I've said this in the blog before but Selected, is really the middle book of three. There needs to be a book explaining the Dove Revolution and a book where Jack Anderson finally meets his demise. I didn't plan it that way, it's just how it happened. When I started writing Selected, I had a very vague idea about political representatives being selected at random, that was about the extent of it. What came out was the middle book of what I think will eventually be a trilogy.

This week I also realized that I can't write from the perspective of an FBI Agent, it just doesn't work for me. I don't know enough about the day to day details and they're important if you're writing from an FBI agent's perspective. Don't get me wrong, I've never been the President either and I've never been in the White House. Writing from the perspective of an FBI Agent is too much of a stretch, I'm not as in tune with that world as I need to be. It's not a coincidence that the people writing amazing Crime and Serial Killer thrillers are either former police officers or investigative reporters.

Is that en excuse? Sure it is. It's also the truth.

The most important lesson that I learned from writing Selected was that it is an absolutely terrifying experience to tell everyone you know that you wrote a book and they should read it. The only way to make it through is to be confident that the story is good and that you did the best work you could do at the time. Everything else could go wrong, a couple of words misspelled, commas in the wrong place, formatting doesn't look great, cover isn't perfect, none of that stuff really matters and it can all be fixed. If you want to avoid having a nervous breakdown, you had better be sure that in your heart you believe the story is good and you did the best you could do.

That was a long winded way of saying, it's back to the drawing board and the drawing board is a good place to be. Life doesn't go in a straight line, course corrections need to happen. Between you and me, I thought of the sequel as just a step I needed to do in order to write the book I wanted to write, the story of the Dove Revolution. I needed to have a personal crisis moment to see through my own nonsense and write the book I'm excited about.

A little inside baseball, this isn't the first time in life that I've gone through the thought cycle of, "I'm going to do this thing I don't want to do ... then when that's wildly successful, I'll have the time to do the thing I really want to do". Nobody's perfect, at least I'm getting better at recognizing the pattern :)

Life and Reading

Rich and Pam are doing good, they got some new tuna flavored cat treats which are always a big hit. The Kombucha turned out to be good, the second fermentation with fruit gave it a nice flavor. The second batch is brewing.

I finished up reading The Attack by Jack Arbor and wrote a review. If you're into spy thrillers, it's a good read.

I need to do some research, if anyone has a recommendation for Man Against the State action stories send them my way. I've read Animal Farm, V for Vendetta, and It Can't Happen Here.

That's all the news from the Catranch this week.



Planning and Abiding by the Rules of the Catranch

Planning and Abiding by the Rules of the Catranch

The Attack by Jack Arbor

The Attack by Jack Arbor