2. Writing yourself into a corner and finding a trap door.
3. Sending off the final draft.
4. Collecting from the Post Office a box full of the new book, and then getting it out to others.
5. Hearing from readers who like it.
No murder, and just a little mayhem–
Everything you could want in a light read for the holidays.
Prime Target is available at Amazon–and specially priced this week…
For the past while, I’ve been working on a couple of writing projects at the same time. There’s Our Savior Come, a collaboration with a dozen other writers where together we focused on Advent. Great time with this–fun to work with others, and to see the finished project roll off the press. Sales are encouraging, too–and we’re hoping many will find the book to be a good companion during the Christmas season.
My other literary interest has been rather different. It began with the germ of an idea that infected me years ago, back when I was absolutely, positively certain that if I ever did try to write, I would never attempt fiction. Hence, ideas about art heists and international intrigue got pushed into far corners. But that changed with Playa Perdida, and the discovery that fiction was, to use the ancient Greek, a blast. I had known from long experience that I liked to read fiction–Playa showed me I liked to write it, too.
So when Nanowrimo’s challenge rolled around last year, I dove in. I dusted off that old idea (more of an opening scene, really), strapped on a few more, and trolled my memory for characters that might populate a book. Prime Targetemerged–soft-boiled crime fiction with no murder and little mayhem. Part of this was an experiment: could I write the sort of thing I liked to read? Part of it was discipline (even adventure stories take a fair bit of effort). And part of it was flat-out fun, trying to create disasters and solve puzzles. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that PT hardly qualifies as serious literature; in the banquet we call reading, this book is a trifle. But then, who doesn’t like dessert?
I set out to be a writer because of an urge to grapple with serious stuff–a couple of non-fiction books full of ‘devotional exegesis’ were early results. And while I can’t imagine abandoning that sort of writing any time soon (January is already dedicated to finishing a full-length work on glory, a study that has occupied me for several years now), fiction is definitely a growing interest. In fact, I almost signed up for another swing at this year’s Nanowrimo (more ideas percolating…), but backed away at the last minute: there was too much to do with projects already underway.
To wit: the roll-out of Prime Target, which will happen later this month. The first proof arrived today, and as has happened each time the post office makes this delivery, I’m rather psyched: how cool to open that box and see a book tumble out.
For a sample from Prime Target, check here.
We were in Baltimore last week, driving downtown on a Saturday afternoon. Saw a lot of high, sturdy fences along the streets, and then remembered: the Grand Prix. Cars in a city are nothing new, but high-performance roadsters tearing along pavement typically chock-a-block with crawling traffic–this is different. How great that a city like Baltimore would try such a thing. How cool (unless you’re a resident, or a tourist unaware that the Aquarium you planned to visit is going to be virtually inaccessible) to watch, and listen. Motivational, too, given all the logistics tied to a will to succeed. Close down a city so people can gather as cars scorch blacktop? What a great idea–and one that begs the question: what else might be possible?
I’m working on a few projects simultaneously these days, and occasionally I get to wondering how they will all pan out. One is the Advent Guide, which has me thinking about Christmas even sooner than the big box stores. The essays are in (they’re good, too!), editing is well underway, and covers are taking shape. Midtown Scholar has agreed to host a book party. The hope is to send this collection off to the printers in less than two weeks–so still some nail-biting between now & then.
Prime Target is another–since I’ve finally decided to get this in print (and pixels) in time for Christmas. Couple things get stirred by this: first, that it’s not a ‘serious’ book. PT is a cops & robbers story, a chase after thieves across the northeast US and southern Europe with no murder & little mayhem. On the menu of literature, it’s cheese and crackers, light fare before the main course. But I think I’m OK with that (in part because I like snacks about as much as I like pot roast). Second, getting to print will take time and energy. And that means discipline, and saying no to some stuff, and staying focused. Third, this book feels like practicing in public–and for someone who likes to get things right a little sooner than that, this creates a measure of discomfort. But then, how does a writer get better, if not by writing, and putting the writing out where it can be read?
November Novel Month is approaching, too. Two years ago I said no way. Last year I succumbed and had a blast. This year? The sequel for Playa Perdida keeps tapping at my brain, clamoring for attention. A good way to spend evenings and early mornings in November? Hmmm.
And the Glory project–the ‘serious’ book that’s well over half-way done. Saturday evening posts on 1 Peter keep me aimed in this general direction, but tying together ideas that have surfaced over the course of ruminating on this topic seems a daunting task. Easier to let it sit. Easier not to put up the high, sturdy fences.
And yet, if Baltimore can host a few dozen screaming cars and a few thousand screaming fans, I’m thinking maybe, just maybe….
(photo credit here)
Last November, as a result of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, for short) challenge, Prime Target emerged. It’s light-hearted crime fiction (no murder, little mayhem) about art theft and the unlikely crew tasked with running a ring of international crooks to ground. The novel is nearing completion, but an important step in the process is ‘beta readers’–people who will read and comment on the book before it’s published. Interested? If so, let me know and I’ll send you a pdf. Once the book goes public, I’ll also happily send a free copy to all betas; mention in the book’s credits is likely, too.
One other matter: the book needs a new cover. I’m offering $75 for a suitable design–email me for specifics if you’re interested.