Tag Archives: The No-Good Book

No malice aforethought

3 Jan

I feel like I’ve been insulting Raymond Chandler.

Not deliberately. But given his tough-guy persona, I’m pretty glad he’s no longer alive to hear my insult.

What insult?

I’ve been telling people that when I write the Nascent Payne mysteries (The sort-of Murder of Fiona Galloway, The Man with Two Eyes and the upcoming The No-Good Book), I’m channeling my inner Raymond Chandler.

But I’ve been reading the Kindle version of Chandler’s The Lady in the Lake and I feel put to shame. Here’s a sample from the opening chapter:

I went past him through an arcade of specialty shops into a vast black and gold lobby. The Gillerlain Company was on the seventh floor, in front, behind swinging double plate glass doors bound in platinum. Their reception room had Chinese rugs, dull silver walls, angular but elaborate furniture, sharp shiny bits of abstract sculpture on pedestals and a tall display in a triangular showcase in the corner. On tiers and steps and islands and promontories of shining mirror-glass it seemed to contain every fancy bottle and box that had ever been designed. There were creams and powders and soaps and toilet waters for every season and every occasion. There were perfumes in tall thin bottles that looked as if a breath would blow them over and perfumes in little pastel phials tied with ducky satin bows, like the little girls at a dancing class. The cream of the crop seemed to be something very small and simple in a squat amber bottle. It was in the middle at eye height, had a lot of space to itself, and was labeled Gillerlain Regal, The Champagne of Perfumes. It was definitely the stuff to get. One drop of that in the hollow of your throat and the matched pink pearls started falling on you like summer rain.

A neat little blonde sat off in a far corner at a small PBX, behind a railing and well out of harm’s way. At a flat desk in line with the doors was a tall, lean, dark-haired lovely whose name, according to the tilted embossed plaque on her desk, was Miss Adrienne Fromsett.

She wore a steel gray business suit and under the jacket a dark blue shirt and a man’s tie of lighter shade. The edges of the folded handkerchief in the breast pocket looked sharp enough to slice bread. She wore a linked bracelet and no other jewelry. Her dark hair was parted and fell in loose but not unstudied waves. She had a smooth ivory skin and rather severe eyebrows and large dark eyes that looked as if they might warm up at the right time and in the right place.

And sprinkled throughout the book are gems like this one from later in the same chapter:

The minutes went by on tiptoe, with their fingers to their lips.

Chandler was a master at massaging words into sentences never seen before, so if you like mysteries and good writing, I highly recommend The Lady in the Lake.

On the other hand, I feel sometimes like I’m doing well if I avoid tired old chiches. Like, “tired old chiche.”

Sorry, Mr. Chandler.

A side trip into space

23 Aug

And now here’s something for people who liked my Nascent Payne mystery, The sort-of Murder of Fiona Galloway …

My original writing plan had me finishing up the first Nascent Payne series – The Hunt for the Wallaby – about the same time as I finished my fantasy series, The Day Magic Died.

But several things changed that. I decided to devote more energy to The Day Magic Died. Partially as a result of that, and perhaps because fantasy has a larger market than science fiction/Western/paranormal/romance/hardboiled-detective/humor fiction, and maybe because it’s a very different series, more people gravitated toward The Day Magic Died.

This led me to put even more effort into that series, and the more effort I took to ensure that I was putting out the quality I wanted to, the more time those took.

All this amounted to less time available for the second and third Nascent Payne mysteries, The Man with Two Eyes and The No-Good Book.

But there was another reason.

I was stalled on The Man with Two Eyes. I had made great progress on The No-Good Book, completing about a quarter of the first draft. But I couldn’t seem to get past about the 10 percent point on The Man with Two Eyes.

Until this past week.

This past week, I completed the first draft of the second Nascent Payne mystery. I already have a big list of things I need to address in the second draft, and more will come up as I go back through it. But completing the first draft is a huge step forward.

That’s also good news for people waiting for The White-Silver House, the fifth and final book of my series, The Day Magic Died. It’s good news because, when I stalled out on revising that book, I didn’t stop writing. So now that I’ve spent a little time away from the manuscript again, I can not only go back to it, but go back to it at full speed.

Which I plan to do tonight and Sunday.

If you haven’t checked out the first Nascent Payne mystery, give it a look.

Progress updates

9 Aug

Yep, updates. I am simultaneously working on three books …

TWSH-coverThe White-Silver House

My revision calls for five or so new chapters to be written, in order to set the story moving in the direction I want it to go. I completed the third of these this morning.

What’s next?

  • Write the other two “redirectional” chapters
  • Work through the book from front to back, insert the new chapters and generally working to keep the tension high and building

Why do I want to keep the tension high and building? This is the final book, the climax of the series. This is where it all comes together. I want you to rush along with Karia to the ending, swept up by the circumstances and situations, duty and responsibility, just as she is.

I want you to enjoy the journey, all the way to the end.

Haven’t read the series? Start here

the-man-with-two-eyes-kindle-coverThe Man with Two Eyes

This is the second Nascent Payne novella, and the second book in the Hunt for the Wallaby series. To tell the truth, I’m fumbling with this a bit. I need to get the storyline straightened out, then try to move right on through this book. Because this needs to be done before I finish …

The No-Good Book

I’m making great progress on this one. Writing this has helped me get my mind off The White-Silver House, so the seeds of that story can germinate, while keeping me writing. I think you’ll enjoy this third Nascent Payne Mystery, and the third book of the Hunt for the Wallaby series. This book also introduces a character I’m thinking of spinning off, Detective Chief Inspector Broderick Lake of the Interstellar Marshals Service. Oh, and an evil, evil mobster by the name of Gero Zikata. With reappearances by two other characters — besides Flynn and Fiona — from the first Nascent Payne novella, The sort-of Murder of Fiona Galloway. I think this book is even better than the first one. So I really have to work on the second book, not just to get it done, but to make sure it’s up to the quality of the first and third books.

This series starts with The sort-of Murder of Fiona Galloway (The Hunt for the Wallaby) (Volume 1).

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