I have spent quite a bit of time this week thinking about my visit this past Wednesday to the Barnes & Noble in Ithaca NY.  It was a different sort of book event for me.  I spent well over two hours at the store Wednesday evening talking to some twenty men and women from the Killer Coffee Club.



 

Unlike many of my book events, most of the people who turned out had already bought and read It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Murder in the weeks leading up to my visit.  Which resulted in a very different kind of evening.  No need to pitch the book, we sat around talking about reading and about writing, about the craft and the business.  Twenty gracious strangers telling me in wonderful detail about the things they loved about the book, and also, about the aspects of the book that troubled them.  And they told me, in no uncertain terms, that they were ready to read the next Cassie O'Malley Mystery. 

Some of you are aware that I haven't been working on the next Cassie O'Malley Mystery.  Needing to take a break from my feminine side, or perhaps unable to come up with a suitable plot for Cassie (as I've said before, plot may be the most over-rated element in a book, but it's hard to write seventy-two thousand words without one), I've been working in fits and starts on a different book project.  But I came home to a universe teeming with story ideas.  And sometime very early this morning, well before the sun came up, half asleep (in frog pajamas) it all came together.  The next Cassie O'Malley Mystery.

When I got up I wrote 127 words.  And today, 127 words is the perfect word count.  Because, in those 127 words, I can see my way all the way to the end of the manuscript. Anchored by those 127 words, I took out a piece of scrap paper.  I jotted down a few words, the premise for the story, the status of Cassie's personal and her professional life, the dead body, the sub-plots each with their own unique suspects and their own theory of the crime.

The post-it notes will start to pile up on my dresser.  Soon the 127 words will be 1127 words, 11,027 words.  The game is afoot.  The fourth Cassie O'Malley Mystery, the manuscript with the working title of book #4, is finally a work in progress.

Life is good.  I hope it's good where you are too.

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