Monday, January 3, 2011

Finding a new voice in the new year

So it's a new year.

I'm not one to make resolutions. It's too easy to break them. But I've been floundering a little, and I finally made a decision. I suppose you could say it is sort of a resolution.

June will see the publication of the last of the tattoo shop mysteries, INK FLAMINGOS. I wrote the book as the last one, so it leaves Brett and company in a good place — after solving the crime, of course.

I'm still waiting to hear from editors about my YA novel, and since there are no guarantees in this business, I know I need to get started on something else. I've tossed around an idea for another YA, but just couldn't find the voice when I started writing. I had another idea for a thriller, but the same thing happened: the voice just wasn't there.

It became too easy not to write. Two months went by and I produced nothing. I wasn't feeling very creative, still not feeling it.

So I decided to pull out an old manuscript. Way back after I wrote SECONDHAND SMOKE, the second Annie Seymour book, I decided to switch gears and write a straight up PI novel from Vinny DeLucia's point of view. For those of you just joining us, Vinny is Annie's former high school classmate turned lover. But the book that features him took place before he and Annie hook up again, before SACRED COWS begins.

I really liked that book. My agent liked it. So I started looking over it again, wondering what I could do with it.

First off, though, Vinny had to become someone else. I don't want to start rehashing old characters. This needs to be its own book, in its own right, with its own characters. So Vinny has become Nick Maloney. When I started writing Nick, suddenly I knew everything about him. In six pages, this story was no longer Vinny's, but Nick's. And I realize now that the story could never have been anyone else's.

Granted, I have to update it. Funny how in five years technology has changed, teenagers no longer email but text, Facebook exists. The economy is floundering, and Nick is a victim of that new reality of housing busts and layoffs and media infatuation with celebrity.

I have no idea where this book will go or if it would ever get published. But my resolution is to write it, to tell Nick's story, to get back on that writing horse and see where it can go.

Do you make resolutions?


NoraA said...

I love the Ink series... is there any chance of a return down the road if your muse hits you over the head with an idea? You could always e-pub it like many of my friends are doing with their backlists. I will of course keep my eyes open for any new books with your name attached to them.

Karen Olson said...

Well, Nora, if this Nick book gets published, it won't have my name attached to it. Ho hum sales means authors need to change their names so the bookstores get fooled into thinking they're new authors. But any name will most likely be transparent.

And no, I'm not considering e-pubbing. Still on the fence about that.

Eleanor Kohlsaat said...

I don't make resolutions, but I do think about what I'd like to accomplish in the new year, so I guess you could say I set goals. Good luck with your new manuscript. May the publishing gods smile!