Well, the news from my neck of the woods is the early spring. Birds all back two or three weeks early. Phoebes, tree swallows, the flicker at the suet feeder outside my writing study window. The flicker is a first in all the years I’ve had the feeder out there.
Those of us who have lived in central Maine for long know that we’ll pay for this good fortune on the weather front. This year we’ll be mowing in April; next year we’ll have a blizzard. Or two. We know that eventually Mother Nature comes back and smacks you upside the head. As they say in these parts.
Speaking of smacks in the head, I’m well along in Brandon Blake No. 2, working title PORT CITY UNDERGROUND. There are notes spread all over the table: plot points, lists of cops, background sketches for various characters, some villainous, some good, most somewhere in between, photos of Bay Witch, Brandon’s boat (see pic above). This is an interesting project in several ways; like the last Brandon Blake, PORT CITY SHAKEDOWN, there are parallel plots and the challenge is moving from one to the other in a way that doesn’t break the pace of the book, or seem jarring to the reader. Also, the suspense has to build on two fronts as Brandon peels back layers of deceit.
I’m enjoying my time with Brandon, getting to know him better. He is hard beyond his years, and in some ways is an anachronism; in a world of shifting principles, blurred morals, and convenient ethics, my boy Blake is black and white. There is right and there is wrong. Right is its own reward; wrong should be punished. It’s a viewpoint that gets Brandon in trouble in this one. A good test of his conviction. (Will he bend? Maybe. Will be break? Never.)
Hope to finish the first draft this summer, writing in between appearances for DAMAGED GOODS. Just read a Robert B. Parker novel, SPLIT IMAGE, where Parker has Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall hook up. Seriously considering introducing McMorrow and Blake one of these days. One is older and wiser, the other is bold and brash. I’ll just stand back and watch.