Saturday 2nd November 2019

I'm a day late, but I THINK I have a pretty good excuse. Yesterday, November 1, I finished the first edit of my new Breaking Camp Mystery, CAUTION TO THE WIND. I'm really, really happy with it and am especially fond of the ending. I wasn't sure how it was going to end until it ended. And this brings me to this month's blog.

I have no idea how other writer's work. Truth be told, I don't want to know—I know what works for me and I'm a big believer in 'if it isn't broken, don't fix it'. But this morning as I was doing a week's worth of chores, I got to thinking about how I work.

It starts with inspiration, an idea—it may be just an acorn of a thought, or it could be the whole oak tree! The idea might have come in a dream, during my travels, or simply walking through a grocery store. It just comes and I never try to second guess how this happens—I just consider it a gift.

Characters, action, scene—these are like threads which I begin to weave into the idea. My story actually takes shape very much like a weaving—a build up of layer upon layer of threads. But like the best laid characters or the action or the scene might change the direction of my book. Sometimes I feel like I am just the typist.

CAUTION TO THE WIND came from a photo of a dust storm. I used it for my cover. I wanted my main characters, Nathan and Nina Trask, to go to Arizona. It's one of my favorite states with all its natural beauty. I also wanted to include in the story the loss of a friend, which is something I've sadly been through too many times lately. But I had no clue when I began this story how it would end, other than the Trasks would make it back to Ohio! Of most importance, and I believe I've achieved this—it needed to be a darn good story with a darn good ending.

True to form, another book is already underway—working titled STEALING THUNDER. This story was inspired by a visit to the Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire. I've started doing my homework—research on Ming Dynasty statues, how the National Trust works, Jacobean house structure, subsidence, emigrating to Canada, hypothermia, train travel through Europe, and Prague.

I plan to release CAUTION TO THE WIND end of November. STEALING THUNDER in late spring.