Friday, January 12, 2018

Starting Over

For more information about Susan Calder's books, or to purchase visit her Books We Love Author Page.

For the past decade or so I've stopped making New Year's Resolutions mainly because I inevitably break them by Jan 2nd.
But this year I made a specific one that I'm determined to keep: finish the first draft of book # 3 in my mystery series by April 30, 2018.

For me 2017 was good year for getting published. Books We Loved released my second mystery novel, Ten Days in Summer. Two of my short stories appeared in anthologies, Passport to Murder and Writing Menopause.

A third short story was turned into a work of art by Calgary artist, Sylvia Arthur.
At Loft 112, this Saturday, Jan 13, 7:00 p.m., Sylvia and I will be talking about our joint creative process. I'm told the event is sold out. 
That's me at the back beside the green wall, a year ago when the Loft announced the writing/art projects 

But 2017 was not my most productive year for writing. I got distracted by travel, visits from family and friends, promoting my recently published works and the birth of my first grandchild, all fabulous happenings I wouldn't have missed.

Now it's winter in Calgary, I have no serious travel plans for a few months and it's time to write.

April and June of last year were my only two months of serious writing and I accomplished a lot, I thought at the time. I got half way through the first draft of my new mystery novel before I had to set it aside for summer activities. I was reasonably satisfied with the work, but my subconscious had other ideas. While mulling the novel through the summer, I came up with a different approach that would fit more with what I want to do with this story. So it's back to page one.

Starting over isn't as painful as it might seem. My scribbles in April and June helped develop the main characters and plot, and some of the old material remains in the revised version. A departure for this series book will be multiple narrators. My first two mysteries were told entirely from the viewpoint of Paula, my sleuth. In the current draft, Paula's investigation alternates with back story chapters narrated by two suspects. Their perspectives point to motives for all of the suspects that build to one of them 'doing it.' Among other things, I hope this will help readers understand the 'why' of the crime, which is as important to me as the 'who' and 'how.'

The good and bad of New Year's Resolutions is that by putting them out there I feel pressured to follow through. It's now 10 days past January 2nd. The work is going a little better than I'd expected, so far, but I long to travel somewhere warm, hang out with friends, Skype with my granddaughter. I have to prepare for this Saturday's presentation at the Loft. I should line up some book promotion and could easily spend all winter organizing my basement and files.

Except for my resolution.    

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