April 3, 2010

Hard At Work

The astute among us has no doubt noticed the removal of the SLAYBELLS project from the sidebar.  There's a long story behind that project and it holds a special place in my heart.  If there was any way to bring it to fruition, I'd work on it day and night.  Unfortunately, it just isn't meant to be.  Originally a novella I wrote years ago, I actually sold it to a magazine back then.  Sadly, before it had a chance to appear, the magazine ran into trouble.  They offered me 10% of the signed contract to publish it and I (foolishly) said no and pulled it.  Hey, I was young and stupid.  As opposed to now, where I'm old and stupid.  Life goes on -- but not for SLAYBELLS.

You'll also notice, hopefully, that a NEW project has appeared in the sidebar.  This is the next book I'll be working on, with a self-imposed deadline to start the actual writing of April 15th.  It's in the planning stages now and great things seem to be happening.  I've always wanted to find a character I could use through several books, and this time I think I've found him.  I don't want to reveal TOO much at this point (for fear if I talk about it too much, I won't feel like writing it) but I suppose a little won't hurt. :)

The new book, as you can see, has a working title of AIN'T NO GRAVE DEEP ENOUGH.  It's set (mostly) in Huntsville, Alabama.  For now I'm keeping details about the story, itself, under wraps.  The book's protagonist ("hero" may be going too far) is named Jackson Travis, though most people he knows just calls him JT.  In a tweet: Alabama Private Detective Jackson "JT" Travis has a head full of shrapnel and a belly full of horse sense.

That's pretty much all I want to say about the series until I get some significant page counts going.  I'll keep the sidebar status updated, of course.  If it doesn't show, I'm VERY excited about this one!

Of course, I am continuing to shop STEALING GENIUS around.  As a matter of fact, the phenomenal blog The Kill Zone, home of the crazy-good thriller writers Clare Langley-Hawthorne, Joe Moore, Kathryn Lilley, Michelle Gagnon, John Gilstrap, John Ramsey Miller and James Scott Bell recently offered to critique thriller first pages for the first 30 brave souls to send one in.  Being a glutton for punishment, I immediately sent in the first page from STEALING GENIUS. (The title is on the blog, but they were kind enough to allow submitters to remain anonymous.)  SG was the second submission critiqued and received a wonderful write-up from Michelle Gagnon.  (They're taking turns doing the critques, but the others seem to chime in heartily in the comments.)  Everyone had some suggestions, but the concensus was that I did a good job achieving what every novelist wants to achieve -- making readers want to turn to the next page.  I am humbled by their kindness.  These are truly great people, which I think says a lot about why their writing (and their blog!) is so good.

And now, I have some planning to do. 

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