Friday, March 7, 2014

I Smell Something...Something New

I got into a conversation the other day with a friend of mine.  She teaches English and Literature classes at our local community college.

My friend has just discovered that I write books and stories, and she’s read two of them so far.  She says she likes them very much.

Since we speak a couple of times each week, I keep her posted on the progress of whatever story I’m working on.  In this particular conversation, we were talking about Junior’s Farm – A Tale Of Sardis County.

For those of you new to this blog, Junior’s Farm began its existance as a straight romance novel, with action thrown in to make it interesting.  The Giambini crime family, which made its first appearance in the Justice Security novel Jackie Blue, is instrumental in causing the chance meeting between the heroine, Katie Montgomery, and the hero, Alan Blake.  The story was to focus on their budding relationship, and the relationship with Carol Grace, Katie’s thirteen-year-old daughter, as they try to make a go of the farm left to Katie by her grandparents.  The story was taking place in Sardis County, where magical things happen as a matter of course, as established in Don’t Come Around Here No More – A Tale Of Sardis County.  No magic was planned, except for the relationship itself, and the story was going to be marketed to Harlequin.

I made a startling discovery as I worked on the novel, and another startling discovery this week.

The second discovery – the one I that I discovered this week – concerned the publisher Harlequin, and can be found here, in author J. A. Konrath’s blog from May 8, 2012:

For the record, all of my stories have been published through Amazon.  I did it that way, not because I couldn’t find an agent for my first novel, which I couldn’t…I did it for simple economic reasons.  Seventy percent royalties, and I control my work.  Simple as that.

The first discovery that I made was that I don’t seem to be able to write a straight romance novel.  I began floundering as the story progressed, and having trouble keeping the story interesting to me.  And, if I’m not interested in a story I’m writing, how in the world am I going to finish it?

So, I changed some things in the book, adding a family connection for Katie and Carol Grace, making them descendants of the Sardis family, through Katie’s great-grandmother…which made Margo Sardis, the witch from Don’t Come Around Here No More, Katie’s great-great aunt.  Katie, of course, didn’t know this fact, and the discovery floors her.  Does she have the same…uh…gift…that her Aunt Margo has?  Yes.  Has it been passed down to Carol Grace?  Yes.  Does it make the story flow better?

To quote Rowan And Martin’s Laugh-In, you bet your sweet bippy!

I’m having a blast writing this story, and I’m establishing lots of things still to come in Sardis County!

So, back to the conversation with my teacher friend…we were talking about the changes and how much better the story is moving now, and she asked how far ahead that I’ve planned titles.

Fair question…Right now, I don’t plan any short stories for the forseeable future.  But, I never see them coming…they just pop up in my mind unexpectedly.  As far as the novels go, here’s a list of the next five novels that you can expect:

            1.       Junior’s Farm – A Tale Of Sardis County
            2.      Hell’s Bells – A Nicholas Turner/Justice Security Novel
            3.      I’m Your Boogie Man – A Tale Of Sardis County
            4.      Black Dog – A Justice Security Novel
            5.      Werewolves Of London – A Tale Of Sardis County

I’ve learned that it’s folly to give a synopsis of any of them until I’ve completed them.  Sometimes, they don’t turn out as planned…

Truthfully, I’ve planned many more than those five…but, as it stands right now, those are the next five.

Unless plans change.

Meanwhile, just remember:  Pick up a book, and…

Keep reading!

Michael  (T. M.)