Lea Wait, here, wondering how many of you remember this old nursery rhyme?
“There was an old man named Michael Finnegan.
He grew whiskers on his chin-negan.
The wind came up and blew them in again.
Poor old Michael Finnegan – begin again!”
Well, that’s the song I can’t get out of my head today. Because that’s what I’m doing. One book
approved by editor: now, begin again. Write another.
The book my editor approved was Twisted Threads, the first in my Mainely Needlepoint series, which will be published by Kensington next January. The book I’m about to begin — Threads of Evidence — will be the second in the series. It’s due to that editor September 1. My goal is to finish a decent (but still rough) first draft by the end of June to allow time for both rewriting and for a few days enjoying any summer visitors or activities. Plus, of course, near the end of the summer I’ll be letting people know about the publication of Shadows on a Maine Christmas, to be published early in September.
So — three months to write a book. Three months that also include a number of speaking and signing days for the book that was just published last week. (Uncertain Glory.) So, although not impossible, it will be a lot of work.
But I think I’m ready. I’ve written brief biographies and descriptions of all the major characters – both those in the earlier book in the series who are still around, and a new group of characters who will revolve around the murder. (Of course. Has to be a murder. Or two.) I know who dies. I know all the suspects and their motivations. I even know how the truth will be revealed. I’m thinking about adding in a couple of romantic possibilities for my protagonist, Angie Curtis. I’ll have to update readers about the business she runs. Bring back more memories of her (murdered) mother, whose story was in Twisted Threads. I know the time of the year (early June,) and the weather (60s, with possible rain and perhaps one or two very warm days. Typical Maine June.) Part of the book will involve a cold case from 1970 … so I’ve done research on that summer, to make sure I’m being true to the way things were then — politically and economically as well as what people ate, drank, wore, listened to and watched that summer.
My editor has approved the plot outline he required. (I don’t always write one as detailed as I did this time, but what your editor wants, your editor gets.) While I’m writing I’ll probably make changes and add details, but, basically, I know what’s going to happen.
So … what’s left to do? The hardest part of all. Sitting in my chair in front of my computer and writing.
On my mark. Get set! Begin again …..