I reach a point in every project where thoughts about what comes next begin to enter my mind. I’m at that point now with “Soul Man,” my fifth novel, and the third book in the Salem Matthews series. I crossed the 50,000 word mark this morning, a milestone, of sorts. I still have a fair ways to go, but I’m on the downslope now and I’m starting to worry.

Why am I worried? What if the answer to what comes next is nothing? That’s a terrifying thought for a writer. What if I have nothing left to say, no stories left to tell, no characters left to create or develop?

Fortunately, I don’t think that’s the case. My next project will probably be another Salem Matthews novel, although I’m considering a new series with a female lead character.

I can tell you that, for me, the period between the completion of a project and the start of a new project is a time of high anxiety, as I struggle to answer the question of what comes next.

So, what does come next? I never really know in advance. I can’t force it. I’m pretty sure I have more stories to tell, so I think it will be something. We’ll see.