How cool is this! Coinciding very nicely with my latest mystery novel offering, Persephone Cole and the Halloween Curse, is a Halloween contest at the Books We Love Publishing House, complete with a basket of goodies as a prize. Visit http://bookswelove.net/ for the details!
Persephone Cole and the Halloween Curse is the first of a mystery series taking place over the holidays and stars a 1942 female gumshoe nearly six feet tall and, nicely put, a full-figured gal. If you’ve ever wondered how Sam Spade, Lew Archer, or Phillip Marlow would act as a woman, this might answer the call.
Persephone Cole and the Halloween Curse starts off the Persephone Cole Holiday Mystery Series, but the second novel, Persephone Cole and the Christmas Killings Conundrum, was actually written first. After a few emails back and forth between the publisher, Books We Love, and me, it was decided we needed to start the series off in the fall. So I committed myself to writing a novel – albeit a short one – in three months. I’m the one who should have been committed.
I don’t have to tell anyone who has written more than a postcard, you don’t dash off a novel, even one at 60K. I mean, you can, of course, but who would want to read it? So if I was going to deliver anything with a modicum of readability, I had to cram eight months’ to a year’s worth of work into three months.
Goodbye summer-time fun, goodbye playing with my cats, goodbye life as I knew it. Did I mention goodbye having fun with my husband, who as a teacher, had the summer off? This meant he couldn’t disturb me until the afternoon. Get your own breakfast, answer the phone, don’t bother me. I would come up for air sometime around two, when he would get a kiss. I would get back to it after dinner. The summer of 2012 will be remembered by me as me and the computer, attached at the hip. Fortunately, husband Norman is a musician and understands the creative mind. Or the crazy mind. Take your pick.
One of the downsides – for me – of not having a lot of time is I lost perspective on my work. I didn’t have the luxury of setting it aside and coming back to it with a fresh eye. Every work needs to be treated like bread dough. Set it in the corner for a time and allow it to rise. Then you go back in and punch it around until it conforms to what you want. That’s writing. Messy dough.
So not having the time to do that, I was more dependent on others, fellow writers who took pity on me, read the story, and made suggestions. Thanks to people like Roseanne Dowell and Baird Nuckolls, who are professional editors, as well as authors, I got through it. It was harrowing, but I got through it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to write. I love my characters. I love my mysteries. But I’m at the age now – 49 plus, plus, plus, and holding on for dear life. What that means is I don’t want to go back to treating writing as a miserable job, like I did in my twenties and thirties. I want to have a good time. I want to laugh. I want to play with my cats, my friends, and my husband.
But in the end, it was worth it. The series is off to what I hope is a great start.
For the record, I love Persephone Cole. Percy’s everything I would like to be. A trail-blazing 40s gumshoe, with a wicked sense of humor, and a take no prisoners attitude. She tells it like it is and lets the chips fall where they may. And she loves fedora hats and butter. My kinda gal.
Check out Persephone Cole and the Halloween Curse.
And visit Books We Love for some great reads!