I had planned for the fifth Astrid Maxxim book to be the Electric Racecar Challenge all along, and had built up to it in the previous books. As I was writing Astrid Maxxim and her Hypersonic Space Plane, I came across an article about a woman who had suffered amnesia in an auto accident. I decided that it was how I wanted to start the next Astrid book. It would be quite a shocker opening.
I wrote the first two chapters and then got sidetracked writing His Robot Girlfriend: Charity. I got back to Astrid and then got sidetracked again, first writing a few new chapters of Kanana: the Jungle Girl and then writing the entirety of The Price of Magic. At that point, I looked back at the Astrid book, which was about half done, and thought “get to it!”
Even after all that, I ended up with everything but the last chapter done and got stuck. I don’t really know why. I knew what I wanted to write.
One little thing I’ve been playing with is that each last chapter of an Astrid book is named for a Shakespearean play. I was stuck with this book until I suddenly realized that I could name the rival race car the Cheetah Tempest. There you go!