Today, I felt like I went back in time, as I went to a local public library in my neighborhood. I know, you must be thinking, Wow, Dave, that's amazing! A REAL library? How'd you do it?
Riiiight, I get it; BIG news coming from the left coast. But seriously, I don't recall the last time I stepped inside a library. And for a writer, that's pretty freakin' sad. I mean, an entire WORLD is inside 4 walls, and it's FREE!
SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR LOCATION
What I love? The hushed whispers of voices sequestered into small groups in corners. People with their noses buried in books, sitting among others at long desks, all hungry for knowledge. While others, young and old, from all cultures, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds, gather in skinny wooden chairs, big overstuffed chairs, or comfortable and inviting couches. The one thing they all seem to share? They're all searching a vast world of information that lies outside themselves.
SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR CONVERSATION
And often that means doing something completely different, OR, doing the same thing you do [in this case research], by using different methods [library vs. google].
Now, while this is in NO way ground-breaking, it simply reminded me: (a) how changing your environment [not sitting in the same office day after day], and/or (b) altering a ritual [exchanging digitally transmitted information with tangible books and collateral], and/or (c) examining different methods or protocols from a different angle [talking to highly-educated librarians vs. a non-living keyboard], can provide a fresh perspective.
Sometime's you get stuck. Locked. Stifled. Frozen.
Sometime's you find yourself getting repetitive. Cliched. Verbose. Boring.
SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO GET OUTSIDE YOUR HEAD
I've been working on my latest novel SEDUCTION AT DAYBREAK, since the first of November. Well, truth-be-told, I haven't written for nearly three weeks. I'm not sure why; perhaps it's three different moves to three new homes inside four months? Or, writer's block? Or, the dog ate my homework?
Nonetheless, it's been going more slowly than my other books. The characters aren't talking to me as loudly as my other books. The environment isn't unfolding as swiftly as my other books. And the story is much more complicated than my other books. Oh, and the dog ate my . . .
Because I'm not writing a THRILLER, where you KNOW the Protagonist and the Antagonist, at the same time, and right out of the gate.
Because I'm writing a MYSTERY, where you you know the Protagonist, but you DON'T know the Antagonist right away.
Because you can't know them both. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a mystery!
This is good for me. Not only does this story stretch my mental muscles to examine characters from different perspectives, and create worlds much darker in different ways, all the while developing characters who are strongly different than my other books.
I LIKE AND NEED A GOOD CHALLENGE.
In the Carter Matheson series of LUCKY STRIKES, BEHIND THE 8 BALL and KNUCKLE DOWN, I already knew that world very well. Carter Matheson was (and remains) the "quintessential every man hero." He's a man's man. He's a ball-breaker. He takes no shit from nobody. Yet, his "soft side" [which you rarely see], reveals a man who, at his core, just wants to help other people. And he wants to be seen for the "good guy" he really is; even IF he's a government-hired assassin.
In this new book (and potential series?), my lead character is a WOMAN. She, like Carter, is also a ball-breaker. She's aggressive, loud-mouthed, and a veritable force-to-be-reckoned-with. Yes, she's bold, brash, but she's also beautiful. And the most fun I've had while getting to know her is that she, like most men, can often be found using sex for mere pleasure, with little conscience, and even less thought of the consequences. Personally, I think it's great to see a 21st Century woman live by her own code, while operating in a man's world.
I think you'll like PAT NORELLI. She's an "every-woman" with battles to fight; both personal and professional. And while Pat spends a bit too much time battling a vice or two, she likewise faces a professional battle with several superiors at the West Los Angeles Homicide Precinct, where she works as a Detective. Pat only goes by Patricia when talking with, or getting scolded by, her parents. Her sidekick, STUART BROWN, also uses her middle name, DARCY, when he wants to make a particular point; which is more often than not. They're a dynamic duo.
Hmm...could all this talk of Pat and her detective work be making me want to get back to the computer? I think so.
As I wrap this up, allow me to leave you with this challenge:
Stay tuned for SEDUCTION AT DAYBREAK to be released this Summer!