My year is off to a great start. Our daughter remains in remission from her cancer, my latest book in the Vinnie Esposito series, Death Gone Awry, is soon to be released, and I'm feverishly writing the follow-up book, Deader Than Dead.
Death Gone Awry reveals some changes that are in store for Vinnie. Some good and some my readers might not care for, but to be honest, it's important that characters grow. For instance, waffling between two men is crazy interesting, but enough already. We are at book six and something has to give, right? Unlike Janet Evanovich's character, Stephanie Plum, (who I enjoy reading, by the way) there really needs to a choice made between Ranger and Morelli. The same applies to Marcus and Aaron, but who will she choose, if she chooses at all.
As authors, we fear change will cause a loss in readership and that may be why we are reluctant. No author bashing, here, honest. I enjoy Janet's writing and her characters are hysterically funny. I saw growth in Stephanie in the last book, though, and was thrilled by that. Again, as we write and our characters become readership favorites, we are loathe to make dramatic changes in those characters because they have become friends to us and our readers. When I write a Vinnie Esposito novel, it's similar to donning comfortable clothing. I know how I'll feel wearing Vinnie's shoes, what Marcus and Aaron's responses are apt to be, and that Lola will come up with another fantastic meal. These characters are familiar, comfortable, and fun to write. Building a story around them is fairly easy compared to starting out with a fresh character, new surroundings and all that a different set of characters entails.
While I've been writing Vinnie for some time now, I have dragged her into the Deadly Bakery series now and then. She has a cameo spot here and there, but I've brought other characters from the Esposito series in as well. Providence is a small city compared to New York or Boston and since Rhode Island is such a small state, folks are familiar with each other in one way or another.
With that said, the upcoming release, Death Gone Awry, takes place in Providence and it's surrounding area. The following book, Deader Than Dead, moves to Block Island which is still Rhode Island, but an island about eleven nautical miles from Rhode Island's mainland. The idea for the book popped into my head while there on retreat. Jean Cipriano, a dear friend of mine, spent part of her childhood on the island and returns there every September with her sisters for their own retreat of sorts. When I mentioned the island idea to her, Jean was so excited, she hauled all sorts of information out of a desk drawer and handed it off to me to help with research. Gotta love that woman's enthusiasm. The focus of the book revolves around Lola, who, through no fault of her own becomes involved with mobsters, dead bodies washing ashore, and what can happen when the two women are caught up in situations better left alone. The sharks aren't just in the water.
How has your year begun? I'm interested in knowing.
As soon as Death Gone Awry is released, there will be copies to give away and I'll keep you posted on that.
Until then, Happy New Year!