Sunday, September 28, 2014

Vineyard Interruptus

It's time to start a new book.

At a book festival in St. Augustine yesterday I had the opportunity to speak to several well published authors who are actually making a living writing. One interesting fact came out which shows me I'm heading in the right direction, if not actually reaching my goals just yet. Michael Wiley talked about his new book, Blue Avenue, which was meant to be a stand-alone book following his three book series about P.I. Joe Kazmarski. He had been advised by his publisher that is the way to go. A series of three books followed by a stand-alone.

I was pleased to note that is exactly what is happening at Champagne Books with my work. I now have three books in the Blender series, starting with The Prince of Keegan Bay, then Swimming Corpse, and soon-to-be-released, Safari Stew. My stand-alone for Champagne is Silent Autumn, which will be released some time after Stew. 

Three other stand-alone books are also available from Double Edge Press and Create Space, but what about my next book? I decided to go with another Blenders story, this time set in Mongolia. So far I've included Old Howard, Larry, Al and Doll from the group. Doll is playing the role of grandmother to reality show chef, Mary Young.

When I talk to groups at the library about writing, the subject of research often comes up. It is important for any book you write. Truths about your time period, location, dialogue and clothing ground your story for the reader. I want to take my reader on a journey, not only provide an interesting story, but let readers see a part of the world they've never traveled to, or refresh their memories of places they've been.

So, here I am in Mongolia. The first thing I do is check general information on the internet, then go to the daily newspapers for Ulan Bataar, and finally check out the CIA maps of my locations. I looked up the food of the country. Now that it is a developing nation because of its oil and mineral deposits, I'm sure it will soon include all the fast food chains, but for now I wanted the customary food and drink. I found some palatable looking recipes and tried a couple of them out in my own kitchen. One of them was a dumpling-like doughy package of meat seasoned with onion and garlic then deep fried. While I don't have yak butter or milk and had to make do with beef instead of marmot, (for which my husband was grateful), the food turned out well. We even ate the left-overs for lunch the next day.

So Doll Reynolds is off to Mongolia in the, as yet, untitled Book IV of the Blender Series. I think Al and Larry are going to run into some trouble when they take a day trip to a historic monastery. Just don't know what kind of trouble, yet. Doll and Old Howard will be on their own to figure it out and poor Old Howard is having trouble with the high elevations and cold temperatures. We've got to get them out of there before winter sets in.

Veronica H. Hart's work can be found at Champagne Book Group and on


Liz Fountain said...

Sounds like fun - can hardly wait to see where this story idea takes you!