A quick update on my novel in progress. The first draft is roughly half written, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Not only has the book been sold in the U.S. and UK, but we have a new and very enthusiastic publisher in Norway, Versal Forlag. I have had lots of overseas sales, but never in Norway. Takk skal du ha, Versal Forlag. The book continues to be shopped overseas and things are looking quite good, even though at this point all we are showing is a hundred manuscript pages and an outline of the rest. There has even been some movie interest. So, all signs are very positive. In this economy, I am especially thankful for that.
With the business side of things taken care of, I am free to concentrate on the book itself. It is foolish for a writer to talk about an unwritten book, so for now I won’t get into the substance of the plot. Suffice it to say, the manuscript is due on my editor’s desk by April 1, 2010, but I have set a personal deadline of January 1. I have fallen a few weeks behind that schedule, but I am still optimistic I can make up the lost time.
The story, very roughly, is a courtroom drama, with the trial beginning exactly at the midpoint of the book. I think once the trial sequence begins I can write fairly quickly. I am comfortable writing about the courtroom. It is an area I know a little about, having been a prosecutor for several years. The courtroom is also a circumscribed, structured environment. Trials move along in formal, scripted ways, like minuets, with room for just a few dashes of drama and improvisation. No wonder writers are attracted to them. The goal now is to begin that trial sequence September 1. This is how novels are written: not in one leap, but in a series of small, discrete steps. Page by page, scene by scene, one interim deadline after another. The trick is not to look up — you might see how high the mountain above you really is.