I’m suddenly very busy. I’m working on a new novel–I’m about a third of the way through the first draft–and I just received the editorial notes on the one that’s coming in October from Random House/Alibi. For my nonwriter friends: This involves going through a manuscript with the editor, following his notes and recommendations. The process can happen once, twice, three times, or even more. This particular book seems to be in good shape, so I’m expecting what we call a “light edit.” Then it goes to the copyeditor–in my case, a fabulous woman who knows more about grammar and usage than Noah Webster, E. B. White, and that Eats, Shoots, and Leaves lady all rolled into one. The copyediting process is usually harrowing but instructive. I’m looking forward to it.
Okay, the novel that will be out in October has a title, which I will now reveal: MRS. JOHN DOE. It’s a real departure for me, my first novel of “international intrigue.” It’s set in New York, England, and France, and it’s a race-the-clock tale pitting an American actress against a lot of shady types in Europe who want to kill her. Why? Well, that’s the mystery, and I don’t want to give anything away. But I’ll tell you this much: My heroine does a lot of running. I made this collage of the book a few days ago, while I was supposed to be writing. This is called procrastination, and writers are very good at it. The collage gives you a few hints about what to expect in the book, but that’s all I’m saying. (Click on the image for a larger view.)
And the new novel I’m writing? Well, I’m not going to tell you anything about it. Not yet, anyway. Except that it’s a thriller. And it’s very exciting (I hope). And it’s also set in various locales in Europe–I seem to be in a European phase. These two novels are my very first works to take place outside the USA, and writing about all those other countries is a lot of fun. I should have tried this a long time ago–what took me so long?
Now I have to get through the edits and copyedits of MRS. JOHN DOE, send in my tax stuff, and get back to the new one. And no more collages–well, not until I need another excuse to procrastinate. Later, folks!