I have a dilemma.
I am forty pages into writing a new book. Two of the characters especially--Claudia who dresses in various disguises for meet ups with a married man, and her Mother, who is still nameless, who has taught her four children that poetry solves anything and everything and who adores John Denver like a religion, has had a bad childhood that she's transformed into a passion for life. They are both spunky and heroic and yes too, tragic.
So I'm working my way through some kind of a schedule where I write reliably and I'm excited by this story--Claudia and her Mother and her brother Cole and sister Emily and the affair with Mr. Bigshot and his betrayal of his good and kind wife. It's already all a tangled mess and I love it.
This week I received a response from a reputable publisher to whom I had on a whim submitted a query for my first book, one I self published and haven't given it the chance it deserves. The response was no, the book's not right for us because it would need to be longer--more words and pages-before we can consider it. I have the feeling that if I lengthen the story, The Light Stays On may well get picked up by this publisher. I would of course LOVE that.
So what would you do? Providing back story about the characters and introducing more about place(s) and complexities is, I think, doable. But I don't think I can work on two books at the same time.
I'd love your advice. Help!