The Father Dilemma – An Apology


My father has been sick for several months.  He’s still up and about, doing all the things my father does… nothing can stop that man, he’s like the Energizer Bunny.  However, it hasn’t stopped him from being sick or me from worrying.

When I first plotted Cannibal Dreams, I wanted to give a glimpse of the Clachan family.  I especially wanted to focus on Aislinn’s relationship with her father before and after her abduction.  This was before my dad admitted how sick he was.

In the beginning, I thought this wouldn’t be a problem.  Aislinn Cain’s father and my father are nothing alike.  However, as I began to write more and more scenes, I realized that the distance between the father I had envisioned for Aislinn Cain and my own father was closing.  By June, I had practically replaced her father with my own.  Since Aislinn and I are very different people with very different relationships with our fathers, it became a huge stumbling block.

Eventually, I had to go back through the entire 50,000+ words and rewrite all the scenes with Aislinn’s father.  This helped, but not enough.  A few weeks ago, I decided I needed to minimize the involvement of Aislinn’s father in Cannibal Dreams because I just couldn’t create enough distinction between her fictional father and my real father.

This has set the book back by weeks.  But the damage was done before I realize it.  One night, while writing a scene in which Aislinn realizes exactly what her relationship with her father had been, I broke down in tears and couldn’t look at the book for several days.  When I did finally jump back into it, I made the decision to start rewriting him into a much smaller part.

Instead of her father, I opted to explore her other familial relations to explain some of why she is the way she is.  This new direction is working much better and the writing has been coming along at a surprisingly good pace.

Unfortunately, it’s 5 August and I haven’t finished writing it.  I fear that I will not have it done by the due date of 14 August (aside from finishing the writing, I need to edit it!).  I still intend to release it in August, but it might be closer to the 21st or so.

I am terribly sorry that I might miss this release date.  I feel like I am letting my readers down by releasing the book later than intended.  It is entirely my fault, I should have recognized the problem much earlier and started with the new plot line in June and not the middle of July.  As they say, hindsight is 20/20.

I am doing everything in my power to get it finished and ready by the 14th of August, but I wanted to explain before we got there why it was late if it turned out I couldn’t get it ready for release.

As for my own father, he is responding better to some treatments than others.  I continue to be optimistic.  And in his own way, so does he, as he continues to plod along and do everything that he always does (heaven forbid my father sit still for more than five minutes at a time).  Some days are worse than others, leaving him too sick to do anything, other days he feels like his old self (literally and figuratively).

Anyway, that’s the status of Cannibal Dreams.  I estimate I need another 20,000 words to complete the story and since removing the “father” plot line, I’ve gone from a hundred or so words a day to 6,000 or so a day.  (Obviously, my writing is still suffering some because of my concern, as I’m not writing at my usual speed)

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1 Comment

  1. Maria D.

     /  August 5, 2014

    Hadena – your family and you are more important to us (your readers) than a book deadline – don’t rush to try to meet a date you’ve set – it’s not a big deal if it’s two weeks late or even later – spend what time you need to with your dad and here’s hoping his health improves!

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