In early May I sent the final manuscript of Elk River to my editor Dennis De Rose (see left column), he and I worked on Containers 4 Death and I am very happy with his approach and thoroughness.
Dennis said, “Real busy with a magnum opus for a guy. Tough work, 700 pages, need to finish, can you wait?”
“No problem, can I get it by July 1?”
It arrived on July 1 as promised (kudu’s to Dennis), but now here’s my problem. I am back into Toulouse 4 Death, the story is working well, I’m happy, but I want to get Elk River done; I need to move it off my desk. So, I’m doing a split shift (really a three-way with the ol’ day job) to get through Dennis’s Track Changes and to keep the Sharon O’Mara story fresh. Actually kind of fun, in a weird sort of way. One day I’m in 1956, the next in Paris, the next reviewing migrant workers, the next in 1945, and then back to Malbec wines from Argentina (where the nasties live).
Going through the edited manuscript is interesting, if you can detach yourself from the work and make the effort to look at the language, punctuation, and loose ends of the story. How did she leave the room? You never had her enter, fix it. I thought her eyes were blue, now they’re brown, fix it. And so on and so on, till it’s right.
Dennis is great, he picks up the bits and pieces, asks the questions, then I fix ‘em. What’s special is that after the corrections are made, Dennis gives it another read. A once over to pick up the missed bits; as he says it’s not over till your satisfied.
Toulouse 4 Death is getting serious. A new thread (actually an expansion of the original) is pushing the story and the characters into a new direction. Is that a red herring I smell, or a clue dropped? Can Sharon tease out the nasties with a planted story in the LA Times; will they bite?
It’s a story of grandfathers and grandchildren, war and peace 65 years apart. The sins of the grandfather are passed on, but then so are the blessings and successes. Sharon O’Mara is fighting both the passage of time and one group’s evil hope for the future. It will be done by October 15, 2011.
BLATANT PLUG: The Sharon O’Mara Chronicles are getting great reviews, I just need to get some traction, so faithful reader, buy a copy. Send me an email and it will be out the door for you paper lovers. For the ebookers go to Kindle and pick up both Land Swap 4 Death and Containers 4 Death – total $4.99, for two great stories of the toughest redhead in the detective business.
Also in last week’s Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2011 edition was article about fake handbags. Containers 4 Death beat the story and scooped the WSJ by four months; readers of the book know all about the world of fake and counterfeit bags as well as the rest of their evil underworld.
Remember: Guns and handbags, all the things you need to start a war!