Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pub date now fixed . . .

. . . for Tracking the Beast. Its publisher, Five Star Mysteries, informs me that the novel's publication date is December, 2015. That might mean books will be available in late November, just in time for Christmas a year from now.

Meanwhile, here's a recent Mention in Dispatches. (The pub dates given in the last paragraph are incorrect and were my mistake during the interview.)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Second draft finished and sent out

To my considerable surprise I wound up the second draft of The Riddle of Billy Gibbs yesterday, only a week after finishing the first iteration. Usually it takes me six weeks to two months of rewriting between drafts. In this case, however, it seems that the first draft was pretty close to what presumably will be the complete novel. That's a first at my house. At least I think so.

The small corps of reader-critics to whom I send my second drafts, however, probably will have different ideas (including objections) that I'll have to address in the third and final draft.

It would be nice to think that after six novels I'm finally getting the hang of mystery writing.

But . . .

Sunday, November 16, 2014

First draft done!

This morning I completed the first draft of The Riddle of Billy Gibbs, the sixth Steve Martinez novel. It came in at 65,600 words and by the time I'm done with the second draft (which will go out to the reading corps for their criticisms) it may approach 70,000.

The problem is that the second half of the novel is mostly breakneck plotting. It needs some supporting furniture—observations on character, setting and culture—to give it substance.

But that shouldn't be too hard to find. Upper Michigan is rich in history and memorable folks.

My target for the second iteration is mid-December.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bringing things up to date

Tracking the Beast, the fifth Steve Martinez novel, is deep into production at Five Star Mysteries, and I expect to see the jacket art as well as copy-edited manuscript later this month.

Meanwhile, the sixth mystery has passed the 200-page mark and is nearing the end. Just two chapters to go, and I'm hoping the first draft will be done by Thanksgiving.

 I expect the length of the first draft to come up a bit short of the 65,000-word minimum, but I will need to go back and flesh out a number of characters as well as give more detail to some of the action. That ought to bring the final word count to close to 70,000.

And No. 6 now has a working title: The Riddle of Billy Gibbs.