This week is kind of a milestone. I completed what I call the final writer’s draft of Murder on the Side. I call it that because my readers haven’t read it yet and I’ll certainly have to make a few changes. But the bulk of the work is done. I’ll pitch it next month at the ACFW writer’s conference and see if it floats.
What is of vital importance, and where I have stumbled in the past, is that I jump immediately into the next project. I know some writers like to take a week or so off. But if I do that, it’s easy to let it slip into two weeks, three, until I realize I’ve lost a heck of a lot of time. And time is far too valuable to squander it with some sort of self-reward.
A writer writes. When I finish an engineering project, I don’t get a week off. This should be no different.
So upon completion of MOTS, I immediately set about outlining For Another Tomorrow, book one in what will be my Tradewinds series. MOTS is the first book of a series as well, the Flies by Knight series. But I take the strategy of waiting on the second book to see if the first sells. If it does, I have ample time to go back and begin book 2 of that series. Make sense?
The good news is I’m very excited about both series. They are quite a bit different, though. Flies by Knight is just good ol’ fashioned mystery. I call it Mystery Over Easy that started out a bit scrambled. Not really a cozy, but not hard-boiled. Just a good mystery and a good story (if I don’t say so myself).
Tradewinds is step outside my comfort zone. It’s the story of a Wall Street banker who flees New York after the next, and last, big economic crash. It’s America after today. Oddly, the decline of our society is not the focal point of the book. It’s just the setting, one I hope you’ll find realistic, for the travels of my protagonist, TJ Hinds. Think of it as The Grapes of Wrath meets Watership Down, but without the bunnies.
TJ is on the run because his investment firm was caught up in illegal accounting practices. He’s looking for the one man who can exonerate of the charges brought against him by the federal government. Along the way he discovers an America that is no longer anchored to Washington, D.C., every community has established its own rules and laws.
However, TJ finds the America he thought had been lost. In its people. The regular folks who are just trying to survive. In finding them, he discovers more about himself and the country he learns to love again.
In book one, TJ finds himself the only witness to a murder. He must overcome the corruption of a small town and prove the young man’s innocence. But in doing so, he may expose himself to the same authorities who are looking for him.
That’s all I’m saying for now. I love the concept and will spend a month or more outlining the novel. I hope you’ll join me on the journey.