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Isis Rising Update

Cure for self doubt: get up and do better. I really do love what I have accomplished in Daughter Cell. I’ve got half a dozen reviewers/editors and two independent reviewers all telling me the book works. But there is always that moment when you let a big project go that you can’t help but feel like there could have been, should have been more you could have done. I believe it was Michaelangelo who said, “Great art is never finished, just abandoned.” Now, I’m not kidding myself, my stuff is not great art. But when you pour years of creative energy into something, you want it to shine. At some point you need to stop polishing the fenders, get in, and drive.

So I went into a weeklong funk after handing in Daughter Cell. Until today. A big project at work did not come to me when it should, so I spent some time revisiting the plot wrinkles that still needed to be ironed out in Isis Rising. Let’s hear it for subconscious percolation. Pieces I had been agonizing over for weeks fell into place, and I now have the entire story, end to end, down on paper.

I outline extensively. I change things once I start writing prose, but I take the time to work out all the plot points and sequence before I start in on page one. The outline acts not only as a roadmap so I don’t get lost, but also as a reminder and mid-doldrums morale booster of how great the whole thing will look once it is done. I am happy to report that Isis Rising returns to the ensemble cast, multiple story line, globe trotting adventure modus that made The Chosen so much fun.

Daughter Cell is more narrowly focused on personal torments. It is a very linear mystery. It has to be, since the mystery that gets unraveled is quite complicated. There are plenty of red herrings and missteps along the way, but it wouldn’t be fair to the reader to mess with the path of the story when the facts of the mystery are so complex.

So it is from this departure in tone that I launch back into tying the first two books together in the third. Not to give anything away, Desiree from Book Two meets up with Joseph from Book One, old enemies resurface, open story threads get tied up, and hints dropped throughout the first two books get picked up and played out. This book will probably be the longest of the three, just because of the ground that gets covered.

So now I have a shiny 5000 word outline that I can clutch to my breast and sigh knowing it is possible to tell this story well, to say everything I always wanted to say over the last 25 years of thinking about these characters. And if I get hit by a bus tomorrow, I know one of my brothers-in-arms like Alan Baxter or Jason Stewart could take this outline and write the book I had in mind. I will not go out like Stieg Larsson, thank you. Knowing the story works is usually all the boost I need to start cranking out text. I expect this one will take me maybe a year.

In the meantime, I am awaiting my editor’s mark up of Daughter Cell and the artist’s cover. I will share the cover as soon as it is finalized. I am also updating jaywrites.com with more promotional material about Daughter Cell, which will hit the bookshelves September first. News as it develops.

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