Sunday, October 25, 2020

Writing On

 Tell us about your next book. Your work in progress or the one after that.

Welcome, everyone. It's Brenda Chapman blogging today.

I've spent the last seven years writing my way through two series: the Stonechild and Rouleau police procedurals and the Anna Sweet mystery novellas for adult literacy. I'd finish a Stonechild and then spend three months on an Anna Sweet -- like a palate cleanser, if you will. Oddly enough, the last in both series were published in 2020, leaving me with a sense of freedom but also worry. What should I do next, and will it be any good?

The Anna Sweet novellas

I'd read a few thriller/domestic suspense that I enjoyed and I thought I'd try my hand at writing one in 2019 after submitting my last manuscripts. I've always liked a new writing challenge. Some years back, I started my writing journey with short stories, went on to write a middle grade mystery series, then an older teen coming-of-age standalone, an adult standalone mystery and then the two series, so variety has been my comfort zone. Part of my reason for writing is to entertain myself, and so far, I've managed to keep my own interest.

Anyhow, I spent the bulk of last year writing a thriller that I titled After You Left Me, which I had a great deal of fun writing. I've since come to realize that it might not have the pulsing, one-track focus of a thriller where everything funnels down the tube of rising danger and increasing stakes. Mine is more of a psychological suspense/mystery if I'm honest. I took my time with the editing and had a few readers, including a New York agent who gave me a lot of guidance and who reread the revised draft. He was the one who pointed out that the plot moved too, uh, leisurely to be a thriller.

This year, I've been writing another 'non-thriller' thriller that I think could become a series. I'm about two-thirds of the way through the first draft and have stopped writing to make chapter notes and to collect my thoughts. As with the last manuscript, I set this book in Ottawa and wrote the story in the first person, a choice I'm not convinced about, but one that I'm leaning into for now. I like creating complex, tortured protagonists who don't always follow the rules, and this latest character Rosie is intriguing and one whom I'm enjoying delving into, much like Kala Stonechild is in the last series. In any event, I'm still managing to keep myself amused twenty-four books on :-) 

Store signing for the Stonechild and Rouleau series



Twitter: brendaAchapman


Dietrich Kalteis said...

Nice to see you being creative, keeping amused, and doing what you love.

Brenda Chapman said...

Thanks Dietrich!