I am down to the final chapter of my work in progress (WIP), Fan Mail.
Yes, that’s right. One final chapter, and I’m done. Complete! Finished! I’ve been working on it each day, either writing or revising, recreating or, sometimes, trashing sections. I started it in 2021 just before the release of my book, Blaze In, Blaze Out. This explains my absence from this blog for periods of time.
Fan Mail differs from my other books in several ways. My other are thriller-crime, and in one or two cases, a bit of police procedural. However, in each book, there is a twin storyline of family and personal drama that travels alongside and intertwines with the Thriller aspect. That has been a constant.
In Fan Mail, the story centers squarely on the family and personal storyline, and comes to a head in the thriller portion of the book. A seemingly innocuous string of letters that begin as “fan mail” that devolve into threats of harm.
I would describe Fan Mail as a coming of age story, wrapped neatly in a thriller. One of the tag lines I’m using is: Everyone knows stress, strain, and jealousy can tear a family apart. Who knew a bullet could bring a family back together?
I honestly didn’t have the time or emotional energy to spend on this blog. I’m sorry, but not sorry. Fan Mail needed every bit of my attention. I looked forward to sitting at my laptop each day or night. I set aside large chunks of time to write. When I wasn’t writing, I wrote in my head. I had conversations with the characters, or I listened in as the characters spoke and interacted with each other. I invented scenes and created barriers for my protagonists, as well as my antagonists. My wife and other family members helped me come up with ideas.
Fan Mail also differed in the way I wrote the book compared to the other books I’ve written. At one point, very early, I wrote a sequence of four chapters for the middle section of my book, way before I was ready for them. Way early. So when I wrote, I had to write to them and include them in the overall flow of the story. Minus very few changes, those middle chapters fit perfectly.
Another difference is that I also knew the ending of the book within the first four chapters I had written. Far earlier than I’ve ever conceived the ending for my other books.
For instance, in Betrayed, I wrote that ending at the time it occurred, not before. Same with Caught in a Web, Spiral Into Darkness, and Blaze In, Blaze Out. When I wrote the Lives Trilogy and Prequel, I had an inkling of the ending. I knew that in that series, two of the books would end on a cliffhanger. I also knew that the endings in the Trilogy and Prequel, while not completely happy, would have a satisfying ending the reader could accept and enjoy. That was important to me. Especially since they were dark and gritty.
So, now I will end this and write the final chapter of Fan Mail. I’ve already written it and rewritten it in my head for the last several months. Sometimes, though, getting it down on paper just right is the hardest part of writing. It is also the most satisfying part of writing. I’ll keep you posted on the publication timeline. That’s up to Black Rose Writing.