Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Work in Progress Part One

It's not uncommon for a writer to have more than one work in progress at any given time. In addition to stories that are actually starting to come together on the page, I often have ideas circulating in my head that may end up as part of a current piece or could take on a life of their own.  When things start going along those lines, it can get a little confusing.

Currently I'm working on two projects. One is a mystery about a serial killer and the efforts of the police to track down the killer before another murder occurs. After many years of starts and stops and countless revisions, I finally completed the first draft of this book. It's hefty. I've added in enough colorful characters, conflicts and misdirection that I think it works out well.  I've shipped this off to a couple of other writers to have them read it over and give me some feedback.  With their comments in hand, I'll polish the script and make it pretty.  Then the big challenge is to find it a new home. I really believe this one can attract the attention of a traditional publisher, so I want to go that route first.

To give you a taste, here's an excerpt from the new book, titled "WHY 319".  I'd welcome any comments.

The killer was already scoping out the next victim. It was almost becoming too easy. After all, it’s not like there was any shortage of targets out there to consider. They were everywhere. One plain Jane after another kept crossing the radar screen. Some nights it was like shopping for bananas, and they were visible in bunches.
            Tonight was one of those nights. It was as if someone was holding up a sign, steering them in this direction.  Like right now. Off to the left at one of those elevated stations, where you had to sit on a bar stool in order to reach the table was two perfect physical examples of the ideal target. Four women, each in their early to mid-twenties were crowded around the postage stamp-sized table. Two were ruled out immediately. They were chunky by the killer’s standards, flashing lots of cleavage with large breasts. For a nanosecond the killer wondered if the flesh was real or the results of surgical enhancement. It didn’t matter. They were unworthy of any further consideration.
            But it was the other two who caught the killer’s eye.  The one on the right was a bottle blonde which was obvious by the dark roots showing and the dark eyebrows. The other was a brassy redhead. She was tiny, almost doll like.  The killer was in a perfect position to observe her.  She was wearing high-heeled red boots that came up over her knee, sassy looking things that accentuated her legs.  The black skirt she was wearing barely touched the middle of her thighs, but it might have been longer if she was standing up.  She was wearing a heavy wool sweater that covered her from the throat to the waist. It was ivory in color and was loose enough to keep the goodies beneath it a well-guarded secret. With the boots and the short skirt, she was almost too good to be true. And upon reflection, the killer realized she was.
            While physically appealing, it was her manner and attitude that was a turn off. This was a girl who flaunted the little bits she had. As she sat on the stool, swaying to the background music, she kept crossing and uncrossing her legs, putting on a floor show of her own. Her hands were constantly in motion. Now they were slowly, seductively sliding down her arms, dropping below the table into her lap. They lingered for a moment then skittered down her legs to tug at the bottom of the skirt.  This was no timid child. She was well aware of her body. By the way she was moving she knew how to use it.
            The focus returned to the bottle blonde. This one had potential. Her wardrobe was a polar opposite of the redhead. Loose fitting slacks, with low heeled shoes that would have been rejected by a nun with an orthopedic condition, she wore a blouse buttoned to the neck and a jacket to help conceal her. The only thing that broke the mold for this plain Jane was the hair color. Perhaps she was letting it grow out after getting it dyed for the holidays.  Now the imagination kicked in, wondering what she would look like, sprawled naked on a bed, unable to resist, unable to stop, unable to do anything at all.
The killer’s body began to respond.
Yes, she could very easily be the next one.
            But first the stage had to be set. And it was a time for patience, because the plans were perfection, which was evident by the lack of awareness of the public or any progress by the police. Those bumblers in blue would never put it together, because of the meticulous planning. If by chance they somehow managed to get a clue, the misdirection was already in place.  So there could be no deviation from the plan. It had taken weeks of study, of carefully planning each and every move. Every step was plotted out. Every move was a smooth, choreographed motion. Every action triggered the next move in a series of reactions. Just reflecting on the past efforts was enough to make the killer smile.
            “What the hell are you grinning at?” Malcolm asked as he stepped up.
            “Just thinking about how good a night this will be,” the killer said.
            “I don’t want a bumpy ride tonight.”
            The killer turned and looked him right in the eye. “You got nothing to worry about, man. Everything will be smooth.”
            Malcolm hesitated a moment as he studied the killer, then nodded in agreement. “We can’t ever be too smooth.”

            The killer’s smile widened. “That’s me, man, I’m too smooth.”        

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Author's Hot Seat

Today I'm being interviewed on author Jan Graham's blog.  Jan refers to this as the Author's Hot Seat and after reading over her list of questions, I can totally understand why.

Stop by her site and check it out. You can also take a chance at winning an eBook copy of "Devious"

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dreams to Reality

I can't speak for every author. I can only speak for me. Having been an avid reader since a young age, I've always been intrigued with a well written story. Over the years I've read some books that have captured my interest from the very first pages and others that have left me bored. As a writer, I always strive for the former, wanting to draw the reader in and take them along for what will hopefully be an enjoyable ride.

The other day I happened to check out the listings on Amazon for my two romance/mystery novels. To my delight I saw a 4 star review on "Devious". This reader enjoyed the book, liked the mixture of suspense and humor and even likened it to the works of Michael Connelly and Harlan Coben. That is great praise and amazing company to keep.

Late yesterday I received word from the publisher that "Devious" is now available in paperback. As a writer, it has always been my dream to have one of my novels published in paper format. While it is a definite kick to have a novel published as an eBook, there is something extremely gratifying to be able to hold a paperback in your hands and know that these words and ideas are yours. Over the years I've been able to do that with some short stories I've had published in small press magazines. Now I'll get to do it with one of my novels. A dream will become a reality. To quote John Travolta "ain't it cool!"

In less than three months, "Vanishing Act" the second novel in the Jamie Richmond series, will also be available in paperback. It's the achievement of a dream that inspires me to keep writing.