For some time, I’ve been playing around with the idea of writing a mystery — probably a murder — set at a folk music festival. None of the scenarios I came up with, however, seemed quite right. This, in part, was because I wanted to set it an actual time and place, the Florida Folk Festival of 2001, and also incorporate characters from other novels.
Why that particular venue? First, because it was the year of heavy forest fire smoke that obscured many things — good cover for a crime! Second, because it would follow by maybe six weeks the events in my second Cully Beach novel, WAVES. So it would be suitable for working in the characters from both that series and my related YA, THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.
Incidentally, it was also the first time I ever attended. My introduction to the Florida folk community.
But I’ve given up on that whole concept. There are, I realize, two different books. So I will write the murder mystery, in time, and retain the current working title of BROKEN STRINGS for it. It will introduce new characters with no ties to my current titles (probably!), including a lead couple that might work out for further adventures. We’ll see how that goes. The exact when-and-where is to be determined.
Then the other story line will be truly the third Cully Beach novel, narrated by Ted Carrol (whom I had intended to sideline). Likely title is SMOKE (in that the smoke would also be found over at his home base on the Atlantic). There will be some sort of crime element, most likely, but definitely no murder mystery.
Which shall I write first? No idea! I’ll think about both, make notes, write up ideas and plot points, and eventually one will say, ‘write me!’ But I have other stuff in the pipe at the moment, so who knows when that will be?
In other news, I finished one rewarding edit/rewrite pass on THE CROCODILE’S SON (which, incidentally, topped out at 58,300 words, just under the 60,000 word target). It will be put aside now for a few days before I look at it again — from here out it becomes less a matter of editing and more one of proofreading. And I will get to work on something else in the mean time. Maybe even update the website!