What's the story you just haven't been able to write?
The way I see it, there are two possible answers to this question: either an author can't write a particular story because it's too difficult emotionally; or because of time constraints. There is a novel I've been aching to write for years. During that time, it has undergone three changes to its working title and has changed from third person to first and back to third. I know the story cold. It has been kicking around in my head like data waiting to be backed-up before a hard drive crash. I just have to get it onto the page. The problem? Door #2 - time.
This next year, I don't have as many books due as in past years. The plan is to make DEAD NUDES a priority in 2012. I want to get this book done and out of my brain queue. My creative beast won't rest until it's finished.
DEAD NUDES is also very different from the other books I write. It's darker, edgier, nastier. It may have to be published in a brown wrapper with a pseudonym.
Below is an except of Chapter 1 of DEAD NUDES:
The eyes of the dead man looked up at her from the bed, the pupils dark and dull like faded ink blots. He looked the same as when they’d last met, just two weeks ago. His hair was still white and thin, worn like a wreath around his bald skull. His belly still round and jolly, extended slightly over his genitals. Even his penis looked the same – white and flaccid like an uncooked breakfast sausage. Charles Kingston looked the same, except for the hole in the center of his forehead.
Barbara wanted to reach for him, to check to make sure he was truly dead. But at the last second, she pulled her hand back, worried about leaving evidence. Of course he was dead. Living people, even those in the final throes of dying, wouldn’t stare vacantly in such a way.
They were supposed to meet at . The clock on the nightstand said it was four minutes after three. Always punctual, she had arrived at three and found the door closed but not so tightly that it was latched and automatically locked, as most hotel room doors do. He always left it slightly ajar for her. Until she saw Charles’ naked corpse on the bed, all had been pretty normal as far as their dates went.
The natural urge to pick up the phone and call the police was outranked by the more primal urge of flight and survival. Quashing nausea, she surveyed the hotel room, trying to remember everything she’d touched. She’d come into the room, seen his body and started to scream, but managed to clap a hand over her mouth before the sound escaped. That was it. All she’d touched was the door knob and her own mouth. As she grabbed tissue from the bathroom to wipe the door knob clean on the way out, she sent up a silent prayer about minute scraps of DNA. She was pretty sure no one had seen her come in, and hopefully no one would see her leave.
On the way out, her eye caught an envelope propped against the desk lamp. As always, it was a small plain envelope with Barbie written across it in Charles’ measured hand. The thought crossed her mind to leave it, but at the last second she snatched it up and stuffed it into her large purse. She couldn’t very well leave her name behind. And bills still needed to be paid.
As much as she liked Charles, she didn’t want to get involved. She couldn’t get involved. It would kill business.