My newly released Nearly Canaan is a thorough reworking of three earlier novels that were intended to be a series.
The publication of What’s Left and the revisions it prompted for four related books soon had me also reconsidering my Promise, Peel (as in apple), and St. Helens in the Mix novels. Sensing the possibility of restoring them to the original concept of a single big book, I made drastic cuts and still added colorful new material.
Here are ten ways the result is new and improved.
- The story is now primarily character-driven. It’s a richer brew. The landscapes now blend in as the backdrop.
- Jaya’s romantic partner gains more prominence and independence. His inner turmoil may leave her perplexed, but it’s an essential element in their developing relationship. He’s renamed, too, and refocused.
- He’s not the only ongoing conflict. Her professional ambitions in nonprofits management are more sharply detailed as she runs into organizational crises.
- She and Joshua become especially close to two other young couples. Everyone seems to look to her for answers, while she turns to an older couple for counsel.
- One exception is the pastor’s young wife in the opening section, who serves as a counterpoint to Jaya’s Hindu-based spirituality. The two develop a unique but clandestine budding best friendship. Wendy will return to bring the book to its conclusion.
- The new release compresses three books into one centered on Jaya’s influence once she leaves Manhattan. Can she really change lives for the better?
- The story is now connected to my novel Yoga Bootcamp, thanks to revisions that installed Jaya as a central figure there. The backstory provides a better understanding of what’s driving her as she settles into Prairie Depot and beyond.
- Jaya’s desire to find a suitable artistic means to express her mystical experiences is more clearly envisioned. She may be stressed, but her private discipline continues as best she can. She has to have somewhere to turn.
- The pivotal catastrophe moves to the middle of the book, rather than hanging at the end of what was the first volume. Can they survive and pick up the pieces and go on? That’s the stream that follows.
- Or, as I didn’t ask earlier, has Jaya unleashed a demon?
Be among the first to read it!