Archive for December, 2011

New Novel Officially Underway

December 27, 2011

I admit to a case of writer’s block for several months.   I blame the malady on my quitting smoking.  In the past, when I wrote my novels, I smoked as I typed, and the nicotine, or the comfort of the cigarettes, kept me engaged in the task of being creative.  So since September 12, 2010, I’ve worked on promoting my existing novels, especially my last two, but only thought about novel number 6, occasionally writing notes and doing research, but never really writing any usable pages.  But about four weeks ago I forced myself to sit down and start writing.  I made a chapter outline, which helped.  And there were some sputters, stops, and restarts.   I couldn’t decide whether I should mix my voice — speaking in the first and third persons — as I did in novel number 5, Navfac, The Final Tour of Duty.  But now I’ve completed the first 6 chapters and the first 50 pages.  And I gave the manuscript to my wife, Tanya, who is my muse and line of first defense as an editor and as a source of feedback telling me if I’m creating anything interesting.  I feel good.  I feel a bit of the fire that’s been missing for months.  The story brings back the lead characters from my first three detective novels, and in novel number 6, they’re married and have become professional private investigators.  The story takes place in Houston and in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the plot, I think, is a good one.   In my past detective novels, readers know immediately who the bad people are and the suspense was all about how the crimes would be solved.    I likened this to Jaws.  Everyone knew the shark was the bad guy, but it was still a compelling story.  In this novel, I am going to keep the identity of the killers and the motives for murder under wraps for awhile, making the book a true mystery novel.  Again, it is nice to back in the saddle again.  (For smokers: if you quit, expect changes in your mental capacity for about a year, but take heart that everything you did as a smoker you can do as a non-smoker…maybe and hopefully better.)  I do think novel number six with the working title, Canyon Road, will be my best detective novel to date.