Monday, June 2, 2014

Writing books is like making Chili

In my book Vengeance the reader learns that Reece Culver was an Aerospace Engineer for a fictitious company named Caulder Space Systems before taking a leave of absence to solve the mystery of his father’s cold case murder. 

The next book in the Reece Culver Thriller series, book 2 - Sabotage, which I’m writing now opens in the country of Scotland.   Reece and his sometimes partner Haisley Averton have gone there with the intent of catching trophy trout on Loch Awe. 

They are successful with their fishing, but while in the country Reece finds significantly more than he was looking for.  Some of the things he finds are good, and much of what he discovers is bad.  But, if you read the first book you know it wouldn’t be a Reece Culver Thriller unless he had to deal with some unsavory characters.  It's what he seems to be attracted to, among other things.

As I've been researching book 2 in the series I’ve been reading up on the country of Scotland.  A place I intend to visit in the near future.  I’ve learned from my mother that I myself have a small smattering of Scottish blood within my veins.

The book opens near the town of Tarbert in the southwestern region of the country.  Reece and Haisley are guests at the home of two of the main characters in the story.  Reece and his friend go fishing on Loch Awe and on the way back run into trouble.

The third book in the series is underway as well.  I completed about 2/3’s of the first draft last fall before picking book 2 back up and pressing on with it.  In the third book Reece goes back to work at his old job as an Aerospace Engineer and there at work he discovers that things are not what they appear to be.

I’m being vague about the plots of both books 2 and 3 at this point because they are both early in my development process.  Writing, like many things, takes time and thought.  In some ways it’s like making a good batch of chili.  The ingredients, words in this case, are put into a large pan, or in my case written on a computer.  Time is given for them to simmer and age.  Additional ingredients are added as the batch, or book ages.  Each time the lid is taken off the cook tastes the chill.  With a book each time the author finishes a draft he, or his beta readers give the book a read. The author then decides whether it's done or needs more ingredients, or time to simmer.

The other parts of my life including my day job give the recipe for my novels time to simmer.  This is something I battle with constantly wishing I had more time to write, but for now having a job is a necessity.  All writers dream of the day when the sale of their books will provide enough income to replace their day job, and when that day comes they will have a new full-time job as a novelist.

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