The first rule of any self-published writer is, if you want to sell more books, write more books. So even though I would like to stop and be all Proud Mama about my latest (buy it, seriously, it's uber-good) mystery, I can’t just sit around promoting. I have to write another book.
I could write another Peri mystery (and I will) but I started thinking about a new mystery with new characters. This idea hit me from two directions.
One was that many people ask me, given the fact that I own two horses, give riding lessons and compete in shows, why don’t I write any horse-centric fiction?
The other was that one morning at a horse show, I was walking to our barn and observed the pile of used horse bedding at the end of the aisle. Suddenly I could envision a pair of cowboy boots sticking out from under the used shavings—boots with feet in them.
|Me and Snoopy, aka My Flashy Investment|
I’ve got the basic plot written out and will start outlining soon. Before I do that, I must have my cast. So now I’m creating the characters who will commit the crime, who will solve the crime, who will hang around the outskirts looking guilty or friendly or interesting.
I’m spending some time writing a few journals in my characters’ voices. They tell me their life stories in their words. Sometimes they have a lot to say and sometimes a little. But in the writing, I get used to hearing how they sound, what word choices they make, how they think of themselves and their lives so far.
It makes the storytelling easier.
My main characters are Wilhelmina (Willie) Adams, a 30-something widow who is new to horses and riding, and Tyler Ransome, a 40-something divorced horse trainer. Yes, there will be some romance in this one. And lots of boots and spurs.
|Frostie, aka One Zip in Time (Snoopy's mom)|
The trick to this new story will be to lure in readers who are uninterested in horses but love a good mystery. If readers love it, I’ll write more. If the response is lukewarm, at least I can say I wrote a novel with horses in it, and move on.
But the important thing is to keep writing.