I know, I know, it's been a coupla weeks since I posted anything, although I have been writing. Just not blogging.
So, as Mr. Monk would say, here's what happened:
I finished the second book and dutifully set it aside while I started putting together a book of my newspaper columns. Everyone knows I write a weekly column, yes? It's in the Placentia News-Times, which is a subsidiary or something of the Orange County Register. So, anyway, instead of slapping a bunch of columns in and putting them into categories, I built it as a memoir of my first few years as a columnist. I've named it, "What Would Erma Do? Confessions of a First-Time Humor Columnist". I'm working with a guy on the cover art and getting it ready for self-publishing.
Now, back to the mystery novel... I printed it out and took it with me on vacation, where I ran through the first edits. Here's what I've got so far - it's clean. It reads smoothly. It goes from start to end without confusion. The characters are solid. The dialogue is real.
Here's what I don't know - is it a GOOD story? Is it compelling? Is the plot too convoluted? Are there any deux ex machina moments I've ignored because I wanted things to come together in a particular way? Have I missed any opportunities to tell a better, more complete tale?
So I'm trolling for beta readers. Would anyone out there like to be my guinea pig? If so, here's what I need from you:
1. Be specific in your notes. "I don't like it," doesn't tell me how to fix it.
2. Be kind. Only because I think this world would be so much better if everyone was kinder.
The title is "Hit or Missus". Here's my first draft at the jacket blurb.
Former housecleaner Peri Minneopa thinks her new job as a private investigator should consist of quiet days doing background searches and low-risk surveillance. Her latest case is a normal one: a husband suspects his wife is cheating, and hires Peri to get to the truth. As soon as she starts working, however, she finds herself on the wrong end of the investigation, as the hunted instead of the hunter. The threats alarm her enough, but when the bodies start piling up, she must decide whether this case, and this career, is what she had in mind.
If you're interested in reading the whole story, shoot me an email with either your email address, if you prefer a soft copy, or your postal address if you want a hard copy.