Editing, writing, and guess which of my characters is back?
On Tuesday I got back the edited manuscript for the second Area 51 Nightstalker book. We’re not sure whether we’re going to title it The Book of Truth or The Book of Secrets. There is some concern that the latter might be connected to that movie that came some years ago and I think that’s valid. How many of you remember that and do you think it would cause confusion?
I remember when The Rock was first published, it was the same year as the movie The Rock, with Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage (say, isn’t he in that Book of Secrets movie too?). There was confusion selling the foreign rights because of that. The Rock is one of my all time favorite books. It started with my wife and I sitting at lunch and her mentioning her ex’s brother-in-law in the Air Force was going to be stationed in the middle of Australia and I, brightly, saying: Isn’t there a big rock in the middle of Australia. Such is brilliance launched.
But every book does start with just a single idea. I remember that moment of conception of all my books.
Besides having to do the rewrite on the Book of Secrets (or Truth), I’m well into, tada, big reveal, the 7th book in my Green Beret series. Yes, Dave Riley is back. And he’s meeting Horace Chase from Chasing the Ghost.
Riley is retired, living on Dafuskie Island in South Carolina and Chase arrives on Hilton Head to claim the house his mother left him in her inheritance. A beautiful woman shows up in Chase’s driveway, then there’s the Russian mob, kidnapping, gun battles and lots of mayhem. I’m building the series in a new direction, with Riley and Chase and assembling around them a team of misfits and rogues that will hopefully go forward in a lot of new books. I love the idea of this team of civilians who form their own kind of A-Team. Their medic is an old flame of Chase’s who is a vet now on the island. Except it takes him a while to recognize she no longer has interest in men. Duh. They have a Gullah who Chase played with as a child as their local intelligence; and an ex-Ranger, Gator, who is their weapons man. He’s a little crazy. Hell, they’re all a little crazy which makes for a fun write and a fun read. This book will be published 7 May.
Jen is having a fit over title for this. I want to title it: The Green Berets: Chasing The Lost. Because the main plot line is they’re trying to find a kidnapped boy. She’s not big on it. Any thoughts? She wants just Chasing (one word). Ie she want to dump the THE for some reason. Cover art or something.
I’m writing differently now than I used to. You figure I had to learn something after 50 manuscripts or so. The biggest thing is I really feel like I’ve found my voice. It was hit and miss for a long time. In Area 51 Nightstalkers I think you can clearly see the snark and the omniscient view.
On other fronts, last week I had my great NY expedition where I went back to West Point for the first time in decades. It felt different than before. I remember driving up the Hudson as a cadet, I’d get a feeling of dread as I got closer to the Academy. Especially those Sunday evenings, coming back during the gloom period (which is this time of year at the Academy). Now I felt a certain distance. Also, I think my experiences in Special Forces and making my living for the last 20 years as an author have shaped me.
Friday, I fly to Chicago for Love is Murder Conference, which is an interesting name for a writers conference since in most of my books, love ends up with murder. I used to joke that if characters had sex in my books, the woman had to die right afterward. For two reasons: so the hero didn’t have to make small talk. And so he could avenge her death. The perfect date.
Anyway, I’ve written over 5,000 words today, and my brain is mush. I think there was something I wanted to say, but can’t remember. My nephew’s dorm at UT lost power so he just came over to spend the night. And Gus and Becca are freaking out because it’s dark and there’s someone else in the house.
Off to calm down my raging beasts.
It won’t be hard. Just bring treats.