adventures in dysthymia

Friday, October 14, 2016

Broken Stings

Having completed writing WAVES, I have no need to revisit the novel’s protagonist, Ted Carrol aka Shaper, in further books. If I go back to Cully Beach, the focus would be on peripheral characters, not Ted — though I might keep his first person voice as narrator.

At any rate, I would expect no further drama in his life. Carrol is definitely not going to make a habit of crime-fighting, nor do I want to turn his ‘life’ into a series of mystery novels (though, of course, one never knows). We leave him in a good place and he can stay there.

I shall note that there are short stories, complete or partial, that deal with Ted’s earlier days. They are not crime-related, not mysteries. I could simply look on them as ‘back story’ and never attempt to get them into publication. Time will tell there.

It is fairly certain that my next novel will be the murder mystery set at the Florida Folk Festival. I have mentioned previously that this was originally going to be the third Ted Carrol novel, to be titled STRINGS, and set in 1992. That idea has been abandoned.

Instead, I am moving it up a year to 1991 (which, incidentally, was the first year I attended). Why that year? Mostly because of the heavy smoke from forest fires — ideal cover for nefarious deeds! The title is tentatively set as BROKEN STRINGS. That can change.

The question is whether to use previously introduced characters in the novel. I could make a clean beginning, not link it to Ted nor anyone else. However, having already created these people, why not use them? Quite possibly the narrative (which should be third person and tightly written, unlike the Ted Carrol novels) will center on Pat Edwards, artist and banjoist, and/or young Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Jackson, future police officer. I do intend to revisit Charlie in later novels. There are also the young people from the little village of Ruby, whom I introduced in THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Betty and Pat Edwards reside there.

As does Branford Perry, who has popped up before, mostly in short stories. And he would be with love-of-his-life-who-later-dumps-him June at that point, so she should attend too. They would be peripheral characters, not central.

Will any real life musicians show up? I might mention some in passing. I remember that Jim Billie played that year and the Bellamy Brothers (an odd choice for a folk festival) headlined Saturday night. So, a mention in passing perhaps. As for the many Florida folkies, some of them friends, I am less certain. To be honest, I didn’t know most of them — okay, any of them, really — yet at that time so I don’t have clear recollections of who was there. Better to use ‘analogs’ of some of them.

Of course, the Makley family performed. I can always mention them, even if I don’t remember seeing them! I didn’t meet Bettina et al until later that year, when I started to become acquainted with other Florida folk musicians.

So, on to plotting now. Who gets murdered and how and why? Well, you can find that out next year!

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Incidentally, the work on WAVES is essentially done, editing, proof reading, design. We should be getting all the materials to the printer by the end of this month and have a paperback on its way to us to approve for distribution (though it will be available at our Arachis Press store almost immediately). The ebook version will go out for distribution next month and everything should be ready for purchase by our somewhat arbitrary release date of December 5.

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