Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The between-book blues

After a month (actually, five months) of intense work, I turned in the third GWI mystery, Murder Most Maine, on deadline (Monday). I then spent the rest of the day relaxing. (Of course, the page proofs for On the Prowl arrived Tuesday, so that ended quickly.) And although I still have to clean up the third book of the Tales trilogy by the end of this month, I'm taking a two-week break from all my projects... and am already feeling that angsty in-between-book feeling.

It's not like I don't have anything to write. I have plenty of options -- both in existing series and elsewhere -- but after spending a few years in the company of Natalie the innkeeper and Sophie the werewolf, I'm in the mood to step out and try something a little different. I even have a character in mind, and a chunk of story that's appealing to me. But it means creating a whole different world, and pushing myself by using a slightly different voice.

Just for fun, and to break from my habitual writing style, I pulled out an old composition notebook and the only pen I could find (which happened to be a rollerball with silvery-turquoise ink -- it must belong to my daughter) and started writing. And the jolt worked, even if it's virtually impossible to see the ink once it dries. You have to hold it at a certain angle, you see, or it vanishes.

But the change of venue -- writing on lined paper, not the computer, and with weird ink -- seems to be helping. Robin Hobb, when she changed writing styles, took a pen name -- and says it gave her greater freedom on the page. Isn't it interesting how these little mental tricks can help change course?

Of course, it's early days, and we'll see what happens; it may be a false start, but it's too soon to tell.

It's funny, though. I was going to give myself a two-week total hiatus, and seem to be incapable of doing it. I cannot not write. Which I suppose is better than the alternative.

Now all I need is a name for my character...


At 2:28 AM, June 05, 2008, Blogger Amberkatze said...

I was actually going to send you a message to say how nice the cover for 'On the Prowl' looks. I noticed the picture had appeared on my 'to be released' wishlist :)

I hope you do take a little break. However if there is something you feel like writing down then it should get written. I imagine alot of authors start things that never get finished.

Oh and character name. Doesn't Amber or Ann-Marie sound nice?


At 9:40 PM, June 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Karen, Well for a character's name, you can't go wrong with the old soap opera/hooker name which you find by using your childhood pet's name for the character's first name and the street you grew up on for the character's last name. For instance, if I was writing a book, my character's name would be Cleo Coppermine. Find your soap opera/hooker name and voila...your new character has a name! Hugs & Kisses, Melissa (Google still won't let me sign in and when I try to fix it, it says 'you already have an account, try signing in' which makes me want to go postal on Google but I don't know where the Googlers are.

At 10:50 PM, June 05, 2008, Blogger Karen MacInerney said...


Thanks! I like the new cover, too.

And I will take a break, but I can't take one for long... the clock is ticking away, alas.

I have an Aunt Anne-Marie, btw... and my middle name is Marie. :)

Amber does sound good. Definitely on the list of possibilities. Thanks for stopping in! (And hope you're getting some good Austrian sunshine finally -- we've got far too much here.)

At 10:51 PM, June 05, 2008, Blogger Karen MacInerney said...


How could I forget the magic combination?

"Honeybee Barley Mow Run."

What do you think? ;)

Let me know what your summer schedule is like; I may have a chance to come up for air soon. Finally. I was turning blue. :)

At 2:02 AM, June 06, 2008, Blogger Amberkatze said...

I am really looking forward to 'On the Prowl'! I can't wait to see what happens next!

Well I will tell you a secret...Ann-Marie is my real name...but only my mum and my nan call me that anymore.

Oh and the weather here was great until this week. It has been raining and we have had some storms. I am now ill so it doesn't bother me what is going on outside weather wise. I have loads of reading time ;)

At 9:10 PM, June 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Karen- My husband just informed me that his soap opera/hooker name would be Blackie McCullough....sounds kind of studly doesn't it? See, you're married to someone for 22 years and you can still find out something new. As for the summer....I've got a huge sale next week and then I'm taking off till school starts up. Grace and I have rented a house on the Cape for a week (jealous?), but otherwise, we're open for fun!! XO, Melissa


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