Thursday, May 23, 2013

The hardest book I ever wrote

The hardest book I’ve ever written. Sigh. It’s always the one I’m working on. I struggled so with the last Kelly O’Connell book (Danger Comes Home, due in e-book in June or July) that I considered maybe it was the last I’d write. Of course it wasn’t. Writing is what I do, and I’m an addict. I can’t give it up. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.

But now I think the book I’m working on is the hardest I’ve ever done, and perhaps it is. It’s a mystery I wrote ten years ago and decided to revisit this spring. I have a friend who did that successfully and has gotten raves on the book originally written thirteen years ago. So why not me?

The novel is called The Perfect Coed and involves, as you might suspect, the murder of a young coed at a fictional state-system university in Texas. No spoilers here but it was sparked by a fleeting rumor I heard years ago about a group of doctors’ wives. I just translated it to college girls.

My mentor, beta reader, whatever has read it and made serious suggestions, though he agreed the basic premise was believable. This is one of the few times, except short stories, that I’ve attempted a third person narrative, and Fred suggested I have too many points of view, so that the reader has a hard time figuring out whose mind he or she is in at any given point. I am editing now to try and change that but in some sections it’s hard work to weave in the necessary information while staying within a few limited points of view.

My beta reader also suggested that with my academic background I should exploit the campus setting of this novel and some of the oh-so-familiar academic types found on its pages. A bit harder to do, but that’s for the next time around. I can see spending a lot of time on this editing project…and I have another Kelly O’Connell novel to write. Plus two books to read in galley sometime (Danger Comes Home and Murder at Tremont House, the second Blue Plate Mystery) and two books by other authors to edit.

Oh me. Why don’t I nail myself to that computer chair?

No comments: