What's next for you as an author? This is another question I get asked all the time. It’s amazing how many times I get asked certain questions. What’s my book about? Where is it for sale? Will I write a book? What is it about?

I love these questions! I love getting to talk about creating stories, and I love getting to talk about my work. Figuring out what will be next is hard, because as an indie author it’s on me to promote Beside the Music as much as I possibly can. I’ve never released a book on my own, and it’s been an interesting learning curve to say the least. And now I am struggling to find the time to write something new. Which is a problem among many authors I know. There are only so many hours in a day. Either you spend them promoting what you already have, or you just work on the next one. It’s a hard balance to find, and I am hoping I will find it, along with working my day job and having a life.

I get asked all the time whether I will write a sequel to Beside the Music. And I’ve thought about it. But I haven’t really come up with a way to make a sequel work. I tied up the ending on this book pretty well, and didn’t leave many loose ends.

And the thing about writing a sequel is that you’re stuck in the same old world with the same old people. I love the world and the characters I created in Beside the Music. But I’ve been living with them for five years while I wrote the book. It’s kind of like going on a month long road trip with one other person. Eventually you’re going to want to talk to other people and hear some new stories.

When I was a little kid, my older sister played basketball when she was in high school. She played on the junior varsity team at first, which played before the varsity team. I remember seeing the girls who played on varsity congregate outside the door of the locker room to watch before they went inside to change into their uniform. I had an image of a book cover in my head of these girls wearing letter jackets lingering around the locker room door, with the words The Varsity Girls over their heads. When I was 10 I imagined the graphic of the girls would look like the cover of a Sweet Valley High book.

The title “The Varsity Girls” has stuck in my head ever since. But until now I had no idea what the story would be about. Which is the opposite of how it happened with Beside the Music. I had the story and no title. Over the winter I set out to write The Varsity Girls. I sketched out my characters. I got excited about them and didn’t sketch out an idea for the plot.

Then I started writing about a famous novelist named Martha Keats who discovers that her husband has been messing around. She goes back to her childhood home for the summer, in East Windsor, Connecticut (my hometown) to write her next novel in peace while her parents tour Europe. She needs to figure out what she’s going to do with her marriage. Is it worth trying to fix it? Then she meets up with the girls from when she had played on the varsity field hockey team back when she was a teenager. They were the party girls back then, and they still are now. Then the story turns into Old School meets Hope Floats. She gets caught up in the adult party scene in East Windsor, and then…

…something else happens.

See? I need to plot out the story.

BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.