Blog: To Write — Choose What Novel is Next For Me!

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As many of you already know, I tend to write and post a lot on this blog — sometimes too much from I’ve heard. Between the older book reviews and the 365 Daily Challenge, I’m constantly in your mail box! Part of this journey has been a self-induced push to get me into a habit of writing every day. Last fall, I wrote a book and am currently working with and searching for the best agent to represent me to publishers. If you’re interested in reading a few chapters, you can find out more here.

While I’m on that path with an agent, I need to get started on the next book. And as I’m nearly done with updating all my older book reviews, I’ll probably get more seriously started in July or August with writing the next novel. I’ve created several outlines over the last few months and a couple of chapters here and there, but I haven’t quite latched on to what story to tell. Since I’ll have more time on my hands once the older book reviews are completed, I should directly replace that time with writing the next book. And I think I’ve got the perfect idea.

I’m going to spend a week writing each chapter, a few days editing it, and then post it online on my blog. This is both good and bad… it means if I have edits or changes from previous chapters, it might be a bit disjointed at times, and it also would make it harder to publish in the future. I’m also locking myself into several hours of work every week for the next 52 weeks — a whole year! But… I’ve completed 25% of the 365 Daily Challenge, so I obviously have the stamina. I can and will do this. Maybe we’ll decide instead of 1 full novel it will be several shorter novels, or a few major sections of several I get started on. The goal being to get myself back on track. And that’s where you come in….


Once the older book reviews are completed and I have a few weeks to outline my next book, I will post a chapter every 7 to 10 days (depending on editing time) on this site. Anyone who wants to read it can read it. Anyone who wants to reply can reply through comments, polls or privately email me. But… to make this even more interesting, I’m going to summarize the eight (8) options I’m currently considering. And based on all votes received between today and June 30th, I will begin drafting the next book based on the summary that receives the highest count. So you get to choose!


Some may say I’m throwing away content that a publisher will never want if it’s already so public. Others may say I could confuse readers if things change with the plot along the way. But you know… where else can you take a chance if not among your blogging friends? Is anyone else doing this? What if this helps me become a better writer and the next book I write is the best seller? It’s not about finding the secret formula to getting published. It’s not about how to make the most money. It’s how to tell the best story. And that’s my goal. Without further ado, below are the 8 options to choose from with the poll at the bottom of this post.


  1. Memory of Time
    • Historical Fiction (1860s to Present)
    • Over the course of a two hundred year period, five (5) people’s lives are connected. Readers will learn bits and pieces in each chapter, as each section will focus on one of the five characters. You won’t see how or why they are connected at first, but it will become more clear as the story unfolds. And when it finally comes together, through tragedy and happiness, a single thread connecting them all, will culminate in a choice one person has to make: revenge or forgiveness.
  2. Father Figure
    • Mystery in two time periods:
      • 1980s – Amalia Graeme is attending college. She has a boyfriend, but she’s secretly attracted to her professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him but one night, a stranger enters her life and she is never the same again.
      • 2000s – Brianna is desperate to get out of NYC and attends school where she tries to discover who she is and what she wants from life. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man she only met one night and never saw again, but found herself pregnant months later. Then Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal where she confesses to finding out she was pregnant and not knowing who the father was. When she reads an entry about who her mother’s boyfriend was back then, connections start falling into place in her current life with best friend Shanelle. Could that be her father… and if so, what does she do now?
  3. Amulet of Hope
    • Historical Fiction / Fantasy / Mystery
    • Two spinster sisters fell in love with a man in 1700s Germany when they were 39. Ruthless Ottilia tricked Nikolai into sleeping with her and became pregnant. Innocent Eva pined and when she learned of the trickery, she confronted her sister after she gave birth… the two sisters fought and Ottilia went over a cliff. As she fell, she cursed her sister with the amulet that each of her children would suffer by having to make the choice to save one child while letting the other die. If no choice made by the time the mother was 40, all her kids would die immediate and tragic deaths.
    • Fast-forward to present time.  17 year old Vera finds the amulet among her mother’s belongings. Her mother is about to turn 40 but had a car accident and is in a coma. She meets her grandmother who’s been estranged for years. She’s faced with a choice… to use the amulet to save her mother and kill one of her siblings, or let her own mother die. What’s happened over the last few hundred years that drives everyone’s choices?
  4. College Campus Mysteries
    1. Mystery (Present) 
    2. Kellan Brunswick is a 32-year old writer who has recently moved back home to Wellington, Pennsylvania, a small historic town on the central PA border with New York tucked away between the Wharton Mountain range and Crilly Lake.  Kellan’s come home to Wellington to see family for a little when Braxton College, the school Kellan’s father recently retired from (as President), has a murder. Kellan needs a break from his Hollywood writing life and sticks around to help clear his dad of the murder, only to find out way more secrets about his family than he expected.
  5. Hillcrest Hunting
    • Cozy mystery series (Present)
    • While the series focuses on Brody and his cousin Evelyn, the extended family will play a large role in each book.  Brody Hillcrest disappeared years ago to escape a tragic accident only to find himself hiding in Italy away from his entire family.  When his clever cousin Evelyn finds a way to hunt him down, Brody’s forced to face his family and explain his absence. Evelyn throws a party in honor of her first book being published where family and friends celebrate her success.  But a murder happens while Evelyn is revealing that she brought a surprise guest — cousin Brody is home after a 5 year disappearance. Brody and Evelyn learn that many of their cousins have some connection to the deceased welcome-home party guest, but neither wants to believe their own family could commit murder. The duo investigate the murder victim and their family, even though they have no professional cop or PI experience, as they want to protect one another but also find themselves intrigued with the challenge of detective work.
  6. All the Gifts I Have Received
    • Thriller and Suspense (Present)
    • A woman receives gifts from a secret admirer. At first, they are sweet. They soon turn dark and dangerous. As she turns to the people closest to her, they all begin to look suspicious to her. She involves another friend she’s just met who’s a detective. As he closes in on finding her stalker, he realizes there’s a lot more to the puzzle than anyone knew. The woman’s family is not who she thought they were. And when the woman disappears, he fears he’ll never find her again. But he does. And when he does, he’s shocked to learn who has her.
  7. Graveyard Mistakes
    • Thriller / Mystery / Suspense (Present)
    • In the opening chapter, a man is at a grave saying goodbye to someone he loves. As the chapter ends, he asks how it all happened… how they ended up with him sitting by her grave and her being dead.
    • Reverse the story back to the beginning… and you’ll learn what happened to them, how much love can cost you and what lengths someone will go to in order to get what they want. The goal is to be chilling and suspenseful, each chapter dropping a few clues as to how the person died. But when you get to the final chapters, and the truth comes out, it may be a good thing it turned out this way.
  8. The Power of a Pact 
    • Family Drama (Present)
    • A family has the perfect life. But one by one, things turn for the worse. It sends them all spiraling into disaster. The father hits a point where he can no longer go on. One night while up late, he stumbles upon a chat room where people make a pact to meet up one night and kill one another, as they are afraid to take their own life. He spends weeks discussing the ways and places with the friend he meets online. They finally settle on the details. But as one of them is on the way to the meeting site, someone they know learns of the plan. It’s a race to see if the disaster can be prevented.

Note: These are working titles, which may change as the book unfolds. Also, the plot is general so that I have some room to work within the lines.

Thank you so much for participating in the vote, spreading the word and reading any content you choose to read in the future. I’ve enabled it so you can choose your top 3 choices, as there may be a few you can like. Ask any questions you have!

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking.

Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think.


37 thoughts on “Blog: To Write — Choose What Novel is Next For Me!

    shalini said:
    June 9, 2017 at 12:35 PM

    6 7 8 th books seem good suspense thriller and family saga.
    1 and 3 historical fiction no interest
    2nd one I have seen or read book with same plot many yrs ago. Don’t remember…
    Rest of the 4 and 5 were ok plots for me

    Liked by 1 person

      shalini said:
      June 9, 2017 at 12:37 PM

      What’s ur first book about you have finished?? What genre is it

      Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        June 9, 2017 at 12:39 PM

        Contemporary fiction. Patriarch does. Leaves behind will where he reveals to his wife that one of their five sons is not really their son. Widow searches to figure out which one. At the same time we see each of the 5 grown sons and the problems they face. She tries to rebuild relationship with them and discovers nothing is what she thought it was. Family drama.

        Liked by 1 person

        shalini said:
        June 9, 2017 at 12:41 PM

        Superb story… Let me know when it comes out.. Will read it

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        June 9, 2017 at 12:42 PM

        Thx. I have 3 chapters posted on the site for now.

        Liked by 1 person

        shalini said:
        June 9, 2017 at 12:43 PM

        How do i search for that

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        June 9, 2017 at 1:30 PM

        I think I put the link in this post at the top.


      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 9, 2017 at 12:42 PM


      Liked by 1 person

    Lana (Sleepless in wherever) said:
    June 9, 2017 at 1:26 PM

    1 and 3 sound very promising, I’d read both ))

    Liked by 1 person

    Patty said:
    June 9, 2017 at 1:39 PM

    #4 looks good

    Liked by 1 person

    mistysbookspace said:
    June 9, 2017 at 2:29 PM

    The 2nd one sounds like something I would really enjoy!! There were a couple other ones I liked to but since I had to pick one I chose that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    foodinbooks said:
    June 9, 2017 at 2:29 PM

    I vote for Memory of Time! Sounds like my kind of book.

    Liked by 2 people

    Books Teacup and Reviews said:
    June 9, 2017 at 2:52 PM

    3 & 7.

    Liked by 3 people

    Jo-Ann said:
    June 9, 2017 at 3:10 PM

    Holy…they all look good, Jay! But which one of these your fire? You have to love what your writing and be excited about it. I love your historical ideas, but you might get hung up on research if you’re anything like me.

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 9, 2017 at 4:18 PM

      True on the research. I have 3 that call to me the most. I’m hoping the top vote ends up being one of them!

      Liked by 1 person

        Jo-Ann said:
        June 9, 2017 at 5:43 PM

        I really think they are all great, but if I had to pick just one, it would be All the Gifts I Have Received.

        Liked by 1 person

    Devina said:
    June 9, 2017 at 3:21 PM

    The Memory of Time and Graveyard Mistakes sound especially exciting. I can understand asking for an opinion to help make up your mind but I concur with Jo-Ann, it comes down to the one you feel a strong connection with. Happy writing!

    Liked by 3 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 9, 2017 at 4:19 PM

      Thanks for responding. I know what you mean. I think I know the ones I want to push forward on. But hearing early ideas helps too!


    Roda said:
    June 9, 2017 at 3:23 PM

    #1 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    N. N. Light said:
    June 9, 2017 at 3:49 PM

    As an avid reader, they all sounds like must-read! Ack, I hate having to choose.

    As to your writing process, while unconventional and leaves you wide open for thieves to steal your work and publish it for themselves, I say go for what works. It’s like you’re using your blog like other writers use Wattpad.

    Good luck with the acquiring an agent process. It’s much harder than you would think. Give me a shout-out if you need some advice or just want to vent. 🙂

    MRS N

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 9, 2017 at 5:41 PM

      Hi. Thank you. I might take you up on that in the future. I’m a little wary about the negatives. But I can be too trusting. I’m hoping it leads to something productive and I can always move it off here if it becomes something really strong along the path.

      Liked by 1 person

        N. N. Light said:
        June 9, 2017 at 6:39 PM

        Jay, email me sometime and we can dish the dirt. ( It’s good to be open on your blog but you’ve gotta protect your art, too.

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        June 9, 2017 at 7:08 PM

        I will tomorrow. THank you


    Valerie @ Valerie's Musings said:
    June 9, 2017 at 4:31 PM

    Thanks for letting us choose up to three since I had three I couldn’t choose between! I really like 2, 4 and 8. 🙂 All three sound really interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

    Jo-Ann said:
    June 9, 2017 at 9:44 PM

    Hey Jay! I nominated you for the Real Neat Blog award! Real Neat Blog Award Did you get this one yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    Rae Longest said:
    June 23, 2017 at 6:37 AM

    I cannot choose! Even after reading the comments I find myself saying, “YOU are right; that is the best; write it first to every comment. Write one, any one, and I will buy it. I do not want to read the “previews” now, as tempted as I am to give feedback as I am. I will wait for the published product, read it and gladly review it on my posts. If you will help me learn how to do it, I will post a review on Amazon/Goodreads. I am soooo excited!

    Liked by 1 person

    […] I opened a poll to help me choose what I should focus my attention on for a next novel — see post here. Based on everyone’s input, I closed the poll last night and verified the winner is: Father […]

    Liked by 1 person

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