Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Fiction becomes reality--or is it the other way around

If I had something in mind to blog about tonight, it's gone--because I just got this wonderful cover for the third Kelly O'Connell Mystery, due out in August. Actually, I think I was going to blog about yoga and the piriformis muscle, but surely you can wait for that, in light of this new development. Kim Jacobs, publisher of Turrquoise Morning Press, did this cover herself and as always I think it's terrific. The top part looks like it could be Magnolia Avenue and the bottom is unmistakeably an out-of-place big-box store. Many thanks to Kim for yet anothergreat cover. There's a lot of talk these days about branding--and Kim manages to "brand" the covers of my books.
I particularly like this book (is it boastful of me to say I like my own book?) because it has to do with a big-box store moving into a neighborhood of mom-and-pop stores. Shortly after I finished the manuscript, fiction became reality when a WalMart was scheduled to open not in Kelly's beloved Fairmount but in the adjoining neighborhood, also an enclave of gracious older homes. As far as I know that store is going in, despite neighborhood efforts to stop it. And I have heard vague rumors of a big box wanting to move to Magnolia, which is the heart of Kelly's neighborhood.
My editor, who lives in Wales, didn't like the title of this book. She thought Kelly was going to find a big box at her front door. I assured her people in this country would know what a big box meant--please don't prove me wrong.
But recently, we've had some incidents where the crime preceeded the fiction, leading  one of my neighbors to say, "Stop the madness!" and another friend to say she needed Kelly in her neighborhood. In the first instance, a body was found in a vacant field near railroad tracks in our neighborhood. I actually wrote that into the work in progress. But then a  young girl was found shot in an upscale neigborhood in back of a house where the occupant did not know her. My neighbor was jokingly saying Kelly was causing the madness, but my friend lived just behind that house--her side patio adjoined that property, and she and her husband heard the gunshots. Shakes you to have violence come that close, but that incident probably won't make it into the fourth Kelly book. You never know though.
Then another friend wrote from far west Fort Worth that a body was found in her neighborhood that same night. She didn't ask for Kelly, however. Glad--that girl is getting stretched thin, and she's in the middle of finding her way through the as-yet untitled fourth story of her adventures. Wish her luck--and me as I try to write it.
Meantwhile, watch for Trouble in a Big Box, due in August.

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