Since I have a deadline in mid February for Murder on the Mountain, I’ve had to temporarily put aside the YA novel I was working on (Martian Born) to focus on this one again. It was nearly finished at the end of November, but frankly I was so sick of it, I just needed a break. Why was I sick of it? Because trying to cram an entire novel into one month really didn’t work well for me. Sure, I got most of it done, but I burnt out twice as fast.
Rushing things (for NaNoWriMo) also meant that I didn’t have time to straighten out problems with the plot as they came up. So now I’m going back through the manuscript and doing a lot of tweaking, before I move on to wrap things up.
None of this means that I don’t like the novel. I think it’s good, and definitely successful as a murder mystery. But I’ve learned some things since I began writing it about proper police procedure when it comes to criminal investigations on the mountain, and of course my husband and I spent a weekend at the Mt. Washington resort hotel where the bulk of the story takes place. So now I’m going back and restructuring to take all of this into account.
I’ve also decided to slow the romance down a bit. Not a lot—the entire novel takes place over less than a week—but just a bit more, to make it more obvious that the bisexual police detective, Kyle, is on uncertain ground. He’s never dated a man before, so I wanted him to come across a bit more hesitant. This is not a “gay for you” story—Kyle knows he’s interested in men—but until recently he’s been married to a woman (she passed away a few years before the story begins), and he never thought he’d act on his attraction to men. Then along comes a confident, openly gay young man named Jesse….
In the meantime, I’ve also entered edits for two stories: my contemporary romance, Screwups, and a steampunk novella called Watchworks, which is part of an anthology called Gothika. The anthology includes stories by me, Eli Easton, Sue Brown, and Kim Fielding, and should be out this May!
So after a pretty rough month, during which I made some progress on A Mote in the Eye (but not enough, considering how long it took), I’ve dived (dove? doven?) into NaNoWriMo with a murder mystery novel that takes place on top of Mt. Washington and in the Mt. Washington Hotel, in Bretton Woods, NH. And now I’m cruising!
For a while, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write this one. Plotting a murder mystery turns out to be really hard, and so many of the initial ideas I had turned out to be impossible. My first idea was to have the whole thing take place on top of the mountain, because I thought there was a hotel up there. It turns out… no. The observatory is there (and in fact, my father used to work there, when I was a small boy), and it’s been expanded, but the cafeteria and museum close at night, and there are no accommodations for hikers/tourists. I could have had the whole mystery take place in the observatory, which I vaguely remember from my childhood, but it’s a really small space with a very small staff (three full-time, two interns, and two volunteers).
So what I did was have the murder take place at the summit and involve some of the observatory staff (fictional — not real people who work there) in the search for the missing person, but the bulk of the interviews and such will be conducted at the beautiful Mt. Washington Hotel at the bottom of the mountain. To that end, my husband and I have booked ourselves into the hotel for a couple days in December. I’m really looking forward to it — the place is gorgeous!
I created the “cover” you see in this post to motivate me, using two photos I found online that match what my characters look like. The cover isn’t really what the book will end up with for a cover, assuming it’s published. This is just for inspiration. And yes, I’m aware that the final “N” in “Mountain” is clipped off. After all the work I put into making it in the first place, I haven’t been motivated to go back and fix that.
But NaNoWriMo has provided a nice kick in the pants to get me writing again. I’m a bit behind, but I’m already over 9,000 words going into Day 7! I’m hopeful that I’ll at least hit the NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words by the end of November, though the full novel will be at least 60,000 words. I think it should be completely finished by the end of December.
Both Billy’s Bones and By That Sin Fell the Angels are finalists in the Rainbow Awards this year! My YA fantasy novel, Dreams, also made the cut!
Unfortunately, we won’t find out who won until December, and the competition is steep. Click on the image to see the other finalists! I’m honored to be included among them.
In other news, I’ve signed a contract with Dreamspinner Press for my college romance Screw-Ups!
I’ve also submitted a steampunk novella called The Watchwork Man for an anthology, finished round two of edits on my Christmas story (The Healing Power of Eggnog) for the Dreamspinner 2013 Advent Calendar, and I have part three of the Dreams of Fire and Gods YA trilogy (Gods) coming out on October 17th!
It’s been a busy two weeks.
The Dogs of Cyberwar
I now find myself without a deadline for the first time since the summer began. So I’ll need to set some new ones. I’ve been re-reading what I’ve written for A Mote in the Eye — part two of the B.A.L.O.R. Cycle, my cyberpunk trilogy which began with The Dogs of Cyberwar. I’ve been promising to finish that forever, but other deadlines kept interfering. I’m liking what I’m reading, so I’m setting myself a deadline of October 31st to have at least A Mote in the Eye finished and the third section started. The story is, in my humble opinion, just too good to let it languish unread forever.
I’m also hoping to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I have a murder mystery in my head that takes place on Mount Washington.
Filed under Christmas, Cyberpunk, Drama, Fantasy, gay, Historical, Mystery, NaNoWriMo, Romance, SciFi, Victorian, Writing, Young Adult