It’s been almost a year since I published The Sleepless Nanny. I had an idea that my next novel would be one I’ve been brewing in my head for 15 years or so about a family in Sitka, Alaska the summer that Skylab fell out of orbit. I even hired my oldest kid to do some research for me… which he dropped the ball on. Seriously, Gen Y or whatever it is? Lazy beyond fucking comprehension.
What I really love to read are mystery/crime novels. I’ve read every single Ruth Rendell book and every one published under her Barbara Vine pseudonym. I read thrillers and police procedurals and crimes solved through forensic evidence. Tess Gerritson, Tana French, James Thompson, Jo Nesbo, Brian McGillaway, Benjamin Black…and on and on. Give me a dead body and a sleuth and I’ll read it. Of the 54 books I’ve read so far in 2012, 23 fall into the mystery/crime genre. So…
Why the hell not write the kind of book I like to read? And why not set it in the industry I spent 16 years in — video games? Even if some people aren’t into the mystery genre, they might want to get some insider filth on the gaming business, right?
I wrote 2,000 words of a novel in which the girl reporter who is NOT named Trixie is the murder victim. But being dead kinda sucked and I had to choose either to plow forward with the dead Trixie (whoops) book then write my Skylab book OR start over and write something less noir and more LOL about a totally fictional girl with an X in her name that works writing and making videos on the web site for a totally fictional video game company with an X in its name and she –and her uncle who is a police detective– solve murders that occur in the ultra-competitive, back-stabby and incestuous world of video games. And make it a trilogy.
So that’s what I’m working on. I’m about half-way through the first one and I’m having a great time writing it. It’s especially fun to do research on police work and forensics. I also like to crowd source character names: I’ll tweet “I need a name for a semi-douchey marketing guy” and get back all kinds of great suggestions. My Tweeps are absolutely getting a mention in the acknowledgments.
I have learned a lot about the process of writing, and I’ll share some of what I’ve learned here in upcoming posts. Almost everyone I know thinks they’ve got a novel or a screenplay in them. It feels really really good to get them out.