Only four weeks to Killer Nashville and the preview of FORTY & OUT – who’s stealing the calendar pages?!
Now that the Antioch Writers’ Workshop is over and my grades are submitted for summer term, I can focus on giving Jadz and company the introduction they deserve. Two weeks ago, I shared the origins of FORTY &OUT as a short story in 1990. It wasn’t until 2006 that I resurrected the plot. It was my second year participating in National Novel Writing Month, and while some would say I cheated by taking bits and pieces of a previous story, by the end of November, very little of the original remained. The characters have new names and motivations, and some disappeared entirely. The villain changed (so even if you manage to find the original, there are no spoilers!). And over the course of those sixteen years, I hope my writing improved!
Here’s a bit from FORTY & OUT that made the leap from 1990 to 2006, although the names have changed and it’s a bit (a lot!) more polished:
Detective Sergeant Veronica Jadzinski threaded her way through the crowd milling outside the Campus View Apartments. Flashing emergency lights glared over the grumbling residents forced out of bed in the middle of a sultry August night. Jadz tossed the remnants of her gas station coffee into a trash can by the door and climbed the stairs two at a time to a second floor unit. The small room was crowded with the coroner, five uniformed officers, a three-man Forensics team, and her boss, Toledo Police Homicide’s division leader Lieutenant Adam Forester. He ignored her.
“Same cause of death as the first two?” Forester asked the shift sergeant.
“Apparently. The gas odor alerted the neighbor who called us. Lucky the whole place didn’t go up. We found a rose on the night stand, same as before.”
“Estimate on time of death?”
“About midnight, but we’ll know better after the coroner gets through.” Patrol Sergeant Theodore Baxter answered the routine questions with no hint of impatience, even though his shift was long over. Jadz joined them near the victim’s bed.
“Glad you could make it,” Theo said. It had taken Dispatch almost an hour to reach her, and another thirty minutes for her to arrive. “Hot date last night?”
“Hardly.” She frowned, glad the shadows hid the flush his words caused.
“This isn’t a social gathering,” Forester said. “Give her the rundown while I talk to the coroner.” He moved away, still ignoring Jadz.
How do you handle a grumpy boss? Find out how Jadz deals with Forester while figuring out who the killer is. Three ways to get a jump on the September 1st release date of FORTY & OUT: pre-order now at Deadly Writes Publishing, leave a comment below for a chance to receive a signed ARC, or if you’re into book reviews, let me know and I’ll be sure you get an ARC, too.
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