The Challenge of Writing Two Books at Once


Well, not literally. But essentially, my latest project has me writing what equates to two books at once. And it’s not easy.

In Tesla’s Ghost, I tell the story of a secret notebook kept by Fritz Lowenstein, the assistant of Nikola Tesla recording strange goings on that happen as the famous inventor and his team experiment with electricity. It’s all set in the 1890s. At the same time, I tell the story of his assistant’s great-great-grandson, Eli Inverness, a college student in modern-day San Diego, who inherits the notebook. Can he use the precious information inside to help solve the world’s problems with global warming? Or more importantly, can he negotiate it into a better grade in his physics class and paying off his tuition bill?

I don’t know if the task would be easier if I were in the middle of summer, away from the classroom. I imagine that it might be. But the problem is that I write by a process I call immersion. I have to totally immerse myself in the story–see and hear the story–in order to tell the story. It’s hard enough when you have the daily distractions around you, but when you have TWO storylines in completely different time periods….well, I am finding it a challenge.

Look, I know you don’t have answers for me, other than “suck it up, soldier.” And that’s really what I have to do. As my old friend and fellow editor and writer Randyle Maxwell used to tell me, “Those who are going to write will find a way, regardless.”

Do, or do not. There is no try.

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