Now that The Simulacrum is finished and out making the rounds (one publisher has asked for the full manuscript. Squeee!), I find myself without a project. Or maybe with too many projects. Or just the right number–who knows? Having several ideas is a good thing, right? I usually have two going at a time, but now I wonder: Which two?
I have four manuscript ideas, a couple of which you may be familiar with. One of the first things I do when I get an idea that excites me is to find a picture for it. So, here are the general descriptions and their “covers”:
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Current word count: 14,119
Debra Chandler is on a mission to save her mother from an abusive man. She needs money. Lots of it. And she’ll do just about anything to get it. If she can climb higher on that corporate ladder, she’ll have everything she needs. Or will she?
But how much is too much? When should she stop? How?
When a noble goal becomes an all-consuming fire, Debra finds herself teetering atop a heap of ruined relationships.
Petting Wet Cats: A Glenna Galloway Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Current word count: 1808 (but that’s deceptive. This is the revival of an old manuscript I had “saved” on a disk. If I had burned it on the disk, I’d have around 30,000 words)
When Glenna finds Bessie Hampton’s skittish cat licking rain off her coat on her front porch, she has to investigate. The cat would never leave Bessie’s house–would never step a foot out the door.
Sure enough, her surrogate grandmother is missing, and the law won’t do anything about it. “No signs of a struggle here,” Sheriff Tom Brewer says.
But something is wrong, and it’s up to Glenna to figure it out. When the one person she suspects is found dead on the highway, the only clues she has left are an antique kaleidoscope and a stack of crocheted baby blankets.
Southern Challenge (Book 1 in the Family First Series)
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
Current Word Count: 25,622
Southern belle Kayla Mullins escapes her father’s critical eye in Georgia to come to Texas and live her dream of raising, training, and selling horses. Cutting horses, to be exact, because these work beasts are in demand by both competitors and ranchers.
But she knows virtually nothing about horses.
Enter Jared Carmichael, the best trainer in the county. His father sold Kayla a three-year-old, untrained Quarter horse.
The Carmichael’s ranch is in trouble because of a seven-year drought, and Jared has a plan to save it. But his father won’t listen. Jared makes a bet with him: If he can get the stallion ready for the big cutting horse challenge in December, his father will let him begin implementing his plan.
Now Jared has everything riding on this horse. Can he and Kayla train it in six months?
Others in the series include:
Current Word Count: 0
Still in the research stage is a Biblical historical I don’t even have a name for. I found a picture, but the site’s watermark across the front is unmistakable: “Thou Shalt Not Steal: Exodus 20:15” Okay, I did anyway, for my own personal use and it won’t make it’s way here until I can buy it. If I can buy it. The organization has some stringent rules pertaining to its use, so I doubt I’ll get to buy it or anything similar until it becomes the actual book cover. (And, yes, I realize the irony of stealing a pic for a Biblical historical. If it matters at all, I felt guilty the whole time it was downloading.)
The idea for this came from a verse in Mark. I read it, and suddenly an entire story plot developed in my head. My computer wasn’t fired up at the time, so I scribbled out several pages for the opening scenes, and jotted a general outline for the next few chapters.
In my research, I discovered I’d made certain assumptions that were just plain wrong, so I have to go back and change those when I type my opening in the computer. But I’m still excited about this one.
The Historical genre scares me. Researching another place and time is fascinating, but people who read these regularly will ding ya if you step out of line with a word or phrase that doesn’t fit the era. What’s been fun, though, is finding that some of my ideas are actually feasible.
For an easily-overlooked verse, it has tons of follow-up in the Bible and in history, if you just know how to look for it. And I guess I do, because I can’t write my notes fast enough.
I’m playing this one close to the vest for now. I don’t know if I can pull it off–I never know if I can, but this one will be particularly difficult because I don’t write Historicals. And this one may be the last one I do, if I get to do it at all. We’ll see.
Meanwhile, I can’t decide which one I’m most excited about, so I’ve kinda been working on all of them. I have a friend who has six active manuscripts at a time and daily writes two thousand words in each. Good for him. Not sure I can do that.
So I guess we’ll know which one really grabbed my attention when I announce which one is finished and ready to hit the publication trail. Since I want at least one new release per year, we’ll look for this one in 2015. I’m hoping both The Cat Lady’s Secret and The Simulacrum release in 2014, since I was too sick in 2012 to have one out either then or now.
Sad. My last novel came out in 2011. I’m so far behind!