July 26, 2013
Sorry it has been a while since my last post, but I've been having the time of my life doing the background research for my next book, which is due to my publisher shortly after Christmas. I actually have only three more chapters to write, so I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I know it isn't always the best thing in the world when an author likes his/her writing, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say this story is my favorite of all I've ever written. There are several aspects to this particular writing that I'm especially excited about. First, I have alternating points of view as the story moves along, which means the action unfolds through the eyes of multiple characters -- which helps keep the tension in the story tight. Second, the time period involved, just before the American Civil War, has always held a great fascination for me -- and the research into that time period I needed to do in order to write the story has been great fun for me. Finally, the main person I'm writing about was sort of an early "James Bond" type of character, complete with disguises, special weapons, and a vast array of survival skills. In short, this person was a hoot!
I wish I could give more specifics of the story, but my publisher would not be happy if I gave too much away at this time. As we get closer to publication, I'll post more about the specifics of the story. In the meantime, I'll just say this: The story has murder, mystery, mayhem -- and a pretty fair love story as well. I'll also end this with something of a spoiler-alert: The reader will have to decide, himself or herself, if this character was really a hero -- or a villain. You'll have to read the story to decide!
While I have loved doing the historical research, I've also had to pay particular attention to the language used in the time period. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I never want to end up with a "Lincoln with a boombox" type of scene. Oh -- several readers did figure out the phrase that was not historically correct in Shell Games -- and I sent each a special prize. The "historically incorrect" phrase was "...he didn't know spit from Shinola." The problem with that phrase is Shell Games takes place in 1910-11, and Shinola wasn't marketed until the late 1920's! In short, I goofed by using that phrase.... I want to offer a special thanks to all those who participated in that challenge; I really enjoyed hearing from you.
I'm right in the middle of researching a "geographic location" that a will play a prominent part in the last couple of chapters of the new book, so I better sign off for now and get back to work. I hope all of you are having a wonderful summer. Take care -- and happy reading!