This week on the Debutante Ball, the Debs are looking forward to a milestone in the future, when we’ll no longer be debutantes, but sophomores. Writers with a second book.
When the Debs scheduled this topic for the beginning of the new year, I was feeling certain that I’d be finished with a first draft of my next book.
I’m not finished.
As I write this, I still have about 15,000-20,000 words to go before I can say I have a finished first draft. But I also have a plan to finish it very soon. As of January 1, I’m working on a new writing challenge with some of my MFA program writer friends. It’s a bit like NaNoWriMo, but in a month in which we think we can conceivably write a lot. (Who decided on November for NaNo? I mean, REALLY? Who has motivation or time in NOVEMBER?) If you’re interested in following along or joining us, search #winterwrite on Twitter.
My work-in-progress (“WIP,” as the jargon goes) is a possible series starter about a woman, Juliet, who is just shy of 30 and already dealing with some big life regrets. One of them—her estranged best friend, who beat her in every high school track meet they ever ran together—arrives at the door of the run-down motel in their hometown where Juliet works as a housekeeper, only to end up dead. Scared she’s next or might be arrested for the murder, Juliet sorts through the debris of her friend’s life to find out what happened—to her friend, but also to all the dreams they once had.
I like to think of it as my Nickel and Dimed murder mystery. I’ve been having fun reading a book about the hotel business, and asking my friends to share impressions from just-this-side-of-sleaze hotel accommodations. Boy, did they come through.
I love stories of regret. THE BLACK HOUR, at its core, is also about regrets and the choices that make us who we are. I guess that means I have some regrets myself, huh? Who doesn’t?
The new book is tentatively titled LITTLE PRETTY THINGS. You can see it on the shelf already, can’t you?
First things first. If only I could figure out a way to give it the ending it so richly deserves… soon, my little pretty thing. Soon.