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Next Book Almost Done

Updated: Jun 12

Since this blog has been neglected for seven months I feel I need to revive it. The blog fell to the wayside last fall when I changed my priorities so I could devote full attention to writing my next book. In July of last year I began a sequel to “Alaska Deadly” but had only completed two chapters by October. It was then I decided to drop most everything else, including giving up skiing for the entire season whereas last year I was on the ski slopes every week.

Now with the rough manuscript nearly finished, I can report that the new novel will be about the same length as “Alaska Deadly” and will continue the story of  private investigator Race Warren. The new book should be an improvement because I’ve closely read the reviews of the first novel and found some common threads of critical opinion. Although many readers rated the book five stars, most ranked it in the mid-range and the criticisms generally agree on the books faults. In some places it was overwritten, including excessive description and some repetition. While this tended to slow the narrative, readers who loved the book sailed past these parts, gripped by the story’s suspense, its many twists and turns, and the numerous action sequences. But I agree with the critics that the book had deficiencies, faults I attribute to an overzealous first-time novelist who wrote with little restraint, putting on paper what spilled from his mind.

The sequel is almost completed and I strived to put a degree of planning into it that was missing in the first book. I wanted to give readers what they liked about “Alaska Deadly” while avoiding any impediments or distractions that were found in that novel. Like the first book, this one will be “escapism”, an imaginary realm of derring-do where heroes overcome evil, but they do so at a cost. I have leavened the new book with more human interest which includes a substantial and enduring relationship for hero Race Warren. This is different from my first book where the few male-female attachments were superficial and turned out to be transitory. For Race Warren to finally meet the woman of his dreams changes him into a more rounded and substantial fictional character. Revealing Warren’s romantic side, I believe, adds depth to the novel and in no way detracts from the essence of the story as a bona fide thriller. The action is almost non-stop and I have gone out of my way to come up with (for me) some original scenes that are quite different from “Alaska Deadly” but still provide a rush of excitement that grips the reader throughout.

Another thing I have striven for is the paring back of (my tendency to write) commentary or explanation in the body of the narrative. My instincts are to embellish and expand in certain parts to “help” the reader better understand a character, how the person is dealing with a crisis he or she is facing. This is a deficiency of mine as a writer, coming from a habit of perfectionism or perhaps self-doubt as to my abilities but in the end it violates the standard rule that writers should “show, don’t tell” (or another version: “tell, don’t explain”). But I don’t believe in strict adherence to the rule, rather I feel a judicious amount of “explaining” in the proper context and in small amounts adds flavor to the reading like a garnish to a good meal.

I’ve already picked the title for the new book and while I’m not saying just now, it will have an obvious connection to the first novel. The books aren’t intended as a series but the new one will be a clear continuation of the first.

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Wonderful news! Keep up the good work.... Can't wait for the next phase if this Alaska adventure.....Marcia L.

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