November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, aka "writers going bonkers." I have written an entire novel in a month in both 2008 and 2009. (The 2008 novel, I wrote under my real name not this pseudonym.) It was fun. I don't know if I can pull it off this year because I am going on vacation for five days at Thanksgiving. That eliminates some of the best writing time I have in November. Nevertheless, NaNoWriMo is too much fun to skip altogether just because I might not finish. For me the fun of NaNoWriMo is all about working alongside of hundreds of thousands of others to be creative simultaneously. It's a cool feeling. The first year I wrote a romance, Marianne's Vacation. Last year, I wrote a fantasy, Merlin's Daughters.
Once I decided to put Libby Pohlman's story on the shelf for a while and participate in NaNoWriMo, I started thinking about what to write. In the past, I've stepped out and tried something "different" for me. First romance then a fantasy. What to do this year? There aren't any other genres I really want to try.
I have recently received emails from people who read Baiting & Fishing and After the Fire, They suggested that I write a series of books featuring the main character of each of those novels. I always intended for Ray Bailey to feature in at least one more story, and from half way through the writing of After the Fire I planned to write more Bev Deller stories as well. I love both of those characters and I want to get to know them better. I'm especially inspired by the fact that there are at least two other people who agree with me.
Last Saturday I went for my usual long Saturday morning walk on the beach. By the time I got home, I had three books in my head: a second Ray Bailey story featuring a missing person investigation; a third Bev Deller story (I already have the second one drafted and it is lying fallow until I am ready to edit it) featuring a high-profile arson and a possible job change for Bev; and, a "final" book in which Bev and Ray team up to solve a mystery. I can't wait to see what happens when the two of them get together!
This week I've been puttering with the Ray Bailey missing-person story mainly to get back in the rhythm of the mystery genre. I'm going to write the next Bev Deller mystery as my NaNo novel this year. The working title is Hell in Texas. The mystery involves an arson that destroyed a mansion belonging to a country western star. While investigating the fire, Bev's personal life undergoes huge changes.
I may not "win" NaNoWriMo this year, but I'm going to participate. Blog posts, along with sleep and my all-but-non-existent social life will all be hit or miss for the next month. Pardon me, I have lost my mind!