When It came time to write the next book in my African Violet Club mystery series, I started with very little idea of what it would be about. Double Pink Murder had taken place in August, and so the next book logically would occur in the fall. I’d already planted the seed for the conflict in the last book. These things are frequently serendipitous.
Stories often come to me as people talking about what happens. But books which are merely talking heads are generally boring. You need something happening to keep a reader’s interest. Just such a moment came in a scene where Lilliana goes to talk to Chief Cartwright. I’d already had at least one scene with the two of them sitting in his office and knew I had to add something more if a reader wasn’t going to skim through this scene, or worse, put the book down.
Well, what could happen at city hall? In an earlier book, I’d mentioned a Town Council meeting room. That led me to an emergency meeting where they were discussing the development of a tourist attraction, a ghost town not too far from Rainbow Ranch. The town was divided, the business people in favor of the development, the townspeople opposed.
At the time, it was just something to add color to what I was afraid might be a boring scene, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. And what could be more appropriate to a story set in the fall, in October to be specific, than a story about a ghost town—with its own ghost?
Ghost White Murder has taken me a lot longer to write than I thought it would. By the time I got through some health issues which limited my time on the computer, the holidays were upon us, never an easy time to focus on writing. But once the New Year started, I was able to get back to a routine, and I’ve made significant progress.
My plan is to finish the first draft of Ghost White Murder by the end of January. As you can see by the thermometer bar on the righthand side, I’m very close to the end now. In February, I’ll be working on revisions and editing and requesting a new cover from the marvelous Susan Coils. I hope she’s able to use the image at the top of this blog as part of that. While working on a book about a ghost town, Ed Mullins, whose photographs have been featured on the covers of my Community of Faith mystery series, posted a series of pictures from an actual ghost town. The building at the top of the blog served as an inspiration in writing the book.
This will make five books in the African Violet Club Mysteries. I hope to finish book number six before the end of the year. Yes, I already have an idea of what will happen in that one, but first I need to work on the fourth book in the Community of Faith series.
Photo copyright Ed Mullins. Used by permission.