Life is getting exciting here but a little baffling at the same time.

Last March, and I may have blogged about this, I went to the Jambalaya Jubilee conference in Houma, LA. It’s a small conference held in a public library, and this was the second time I went.

This year I pitched Sword & Illusion to agent Cherry Weiner. She told me it was too long and I should cut about 29,000 words. (Yikes!) When that was done, I was to email her.

Well, Monday I did just that. I had spent hours cutting words from my book. I cut out several characters and, for a lot of writerly reasons, ignored that Attack of the Queen had ever been written. Ms. Weiner told me to “think series,” which was something I already was, and again, for those writerly reasons, I’ve chosen to make Sword & Illusion the first book of the series.

It will mean that the story that was told in Attack will move to later in the series and possibly will change appearance. I have promised my best friend (and inspiration for Adazzra) that eventually she will get her husband and children back. At this point, I’m not sure how that will all happen, however.

When I was first writing the book – We’ve been calling it S&I at home, but that’s going to be confusing because all of the books will be Sword & something beginning with I – I had seen it as the second book, so deciding to make it the first one meant that a lot of things changed, and everything was possible.

I was assuming Attack would be the second book, now titled Sword & Inferno, but events in Illusion make it necessary to deal with some things before I can get to Adazzra’s world and save it from the Vlaad.

My husband and I went through a list of I words to come up with some other titles. He doesn’t think Sword & Immunocytochemistries is a good title. However, right now I think book two will be Sword & Infidel due to how Illusion ended.

Now I’m faced with writing a book I have no plot for yet. I think this must be what successful writers face. I have never written a book that I didn’t have a story in mind for before I ever sat down.

However, it occurred to me this morning that people like Rachel Caine, Jim Butcher and Alyssa Day, who have long series of books with the same characters or related ones, probably don’t know all their plots before they begin. Heck, my friend Jo also pitched to Cherry at the conference and had synopses for three books requested and she had only written one and a half. She didn’t even know the plot of book three.

But she does now.

So, if I’m going to be a successful fantasy author, I need to be ready to figure out a plot from the ground up.

I’m excited but scared, too.