Round Robin: The Books We Haven’t Written Yet, Part II

Turdus Migratorius, aka American Robin

Janet Dawson: Okay, fellow Perseverance Press bloggers – I know we’ve all got a million words percolating around in our heads.

What book would you like to write, but for one reason or another, you haven’t yet written said book? And why? Not enough time? Not the right time? Not a viable project? Needs more research than you’re willing to do right now? Is it likely we’ll see this project in the future? Or will it forever remain in the desk drawers of your brain? Here’s Part II!

Camille Minichino: I’ve been trying to write a dark book for several years, but can’t seem to manage it. Either my comic side comes through or the piece is pitifully cliche. I read dark — the Dexter books, Thomas H. Cook, for example — but can’t write dark, except for a couple of short stories. I’ve come up with a theory: reading about a dark character is one thing, but getting enough inside the head of a dark person to write over a long period of time, is another story. Also, inside my head is a dark memoir that will probably never see the light of print.

Shelley Singer: The one I want to write is third in line behind the book about coming of age in a corner grocery and a Jake Samson – or two – I’m dying to get to. It’s a historical novel, maybe a mystery, maybe a quest of sorts, set in medieval times. I’m fascinated by that era, both horrified and titillated by it. Knighthood. Dungeons. Fiefdoms. Really smelly people. Sends chills up my spine. But when I look back at how long it’s taking me, how much research and rewrite I’ve struggled through, to tell a story about life in the 1940s and ‘50s, I wonder about shouldering another five-year project. And I want to write Jakes, too. It seems unfair not to be able to lead at least three lives simultaneously.

Janet LaPierre: My most recent mystery novel, Run A Crooked Mile, was published almost three years ago. I’d enjoyed writing it, was pleased with it, but at the time I saw it as a stand-alone. So life went on, with many distractions and not much writing. But at times those characters, and that setting, wandered into my thoughts. Other characters occurred to me, particularly an odd little eight-year-old girl who came suddenly into the life of her aunt, middle-aged Rosemary Mendes, the central character in Run. And maybe another dog?

Eventually I had about six chapters of this story, and began to think of working on it seriously . . . and then hit the problem I’d  pretended didn’t bother me in the first book, a problem I’d avoided in all my other novels: I’d set the blasted thing in a real place!  Instead of a fictitious town in Mendocino County, Run happened in the Weaverville, the actual county seat of Trinity County and a place with its own distinct history and character. A town, I learned recently, that is one of 10 finalists in Budget Travel America’s Coolest Small Town contest. A town whose sheriff, a friendly man who’d helped me with details about law enforcement there, had retired and been replaced.

So I’m afraid this story may remain in my filing cabinet. Meanwhile, I’ll try to get back to learning some rudimentary Spanish for my other delayed project, a new Port Silva novel.

Sara Hoskinson Frommer: I’ve been thinking about this one, but what I have is the bare idea for a new mystery that’s nowhere near ready to talk about, not what I think you mean at all. Not sure it will ever be written. First I’ll have to work my way through some ethical minefields.

Taffy Cannon: For years now I’ve been collecting and reading books about women in the American West, with a vague notion that this material will eventually find its way into a novel set … somewhere. Sometime. Mining town? Prairie sod house? Gold Rush San Francisco? I still don’t know, but the pleasure is as much in the journey toward that ill-defined goal as it is in the actual execution. And bits and pieces from this have found their way already into both published and unpublished works. So I’d have to say that even though I can’t point specifically to one project, my Western Women shelf and I are comfortable with each other.

Sheila Simonson: I want to write the next Latouche County mystery. Just kidding. In the long term, I have an idea for a mystery set here in Vancouver in 1910 when Fort Vancouver was still a military installation and electric trolleys ran from the ferry across the Columbia out to the east county, where the landscape was just recovering from a terrible forest fire. It was the Progressive era, edgy and simultaneously innocent in a way we couldn’t be after World War I. A lot of things were happening in the arts and in technology and science, but most people still lived in a slow-moving rural milieu. Huh. I guess I have been thinking about all that.

Lora Roberts: It would be easier to tell you the books I have written rather than the ones I haven’t. But if I was going to write, which of the many books (thousands, really) that I haven’t written would I chose to write?
Well, the one that’s half done would be on the list—a follow-on to The Affair of the Incognito Tenant. But although I started that one, I haven’t been writing it.
I also haven’t written a seventh book with another character I like, Liz Sullivan. I’ve thought about a book with her niece Amy as viewpoint character. Amy’s attending Stanford’s biz school and seething with ambition until . . . well, I’m not writing that, so no point in going any farther.
I’m beginning to see a trend here.
My excuse for not writing is a day job herding other people’s words, leaving me with no energy for corralling my own. It’s no excuse, really, as I’m sure everyone knows. But I’m certainly not going to write a better one.

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One Response

  1. This was a kick! There were a number I’d like to read.

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