I had plans — fairly nebulous but plans none the less — to follow up the current novel-in-progress with a mystery set at the Florida Folk Festival. This was to be the third in the sequence of ‘Shaper’ novels about surf shop owner, Ted Carrol.
Ted is the protagonist and narrator of SHAPER and of WAVES, the book on which I am working right now. The novels in which he figures are ostensibly ‘crime’ stories but they are really closer to being ‘mainstream’ or even ‘literary fiction.’ They are NOT tightly written in the style of an effective mystery story.
Anyway, the idea was to send Ted and new wife, Michelle, to the Florida Folk Festival the year after the events in WAVES, which would make it May of 2002, perhaps or perhaps not with Michelle’s daughter, Charlie, in tow (she has plans for a police career), probably spending time there with his artist friend Pat and his wife Betty. Exactly what the ‘mystery’ would entail, I had not decided but it would probably not involve murder.
I am thinking differently now. I still want to do the festival mystery but I need a faster paced and possibly third person approach. I think maybe there should be a murder (it would be hushed up, of course, which is why none of you Florida Folkies reading this ever heard of it!). Maybe Pat will the central character instead (or Betty or even young Charlie, if she attends). I would like to move it a year earlier to 2001, the year that there was thick smoke at the festival from forest fires. That would be a perfect cover for crimes and pursuit. It was also the year I myself ‘discovered’ the Florida Folk Festival, thanks to my girlfriend at the time. (There just might be a somewhat thinly disguised version of her in the book!)
Or I might stick to the original idea. Lots of other novels in my head and some of them are going to be written first. I’ll let this concept sit for a while and see what new thoughts I might have about it. I’m plugging away at WAVES and may or may not have a finished version ready for release this year. Then on to something else, probably another fantasy novel. Or that western or maybe the spy tale? We’ll see.