Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Working on Sequels...

So with all the wisdom I've garnered from the editing session for Whispers of the Dead, I've realized that the Zoe sequel, Whispers of the Serpent, needs a serious overhaul, lest my editor want to beat me about the head and shoulders. So looking at the manuscript, I'm just...overwhelmed. The story is solid, but Zoe is still so angry and angsty!!

Sure, she's got a lot on her plate. Business is booming. She's still cursed. Oh, her mother makes an appearance, and egads, she's trying to seriously date both Daniel and Jacob! Not to mention that someone is stalking her in her dreams!

Whew, maybe she had a right to be angry and angsty...

It opens like this:

Some things just can’t be unseen. Dead babies would be one, and the little girl on the ground at my feet screamed loudly in her frustration over being brutally murdered. The body lay quiet in the confines of the open body bag, eyes rolled back until only the now-dull whiteness was left framed by soft, dark lashes. Her insistent screaming hurt, all that shrill, sharp noise echoing in my headspace.

A very human part of me wanted to cover my ears, but that was stupid. She was already in my head. I needed a distraction.

The surrounding mini-horde of authorities—police, EMT, medical examiner, heck, even one fire engine team—kept their distance. Part of it was, sadly, me. Stupid clairvoyance. Six years of working with most of these people, and misinformation over what I did still ended with fearful whispers and the occasional person signing the cross. It bothered me less, as time went on, and I was grateful usually for the silence.

The other part was simply that no one liked a dead child. Most of the crew were parents themselves. One of my partners, Detective Michael Sully, had a beautiful toddler at home, and it wasn’t likely that he was the only parent on the crew.  And those who weren’t probably had children in their lives, like I had my niece.

My throat tightened. If this had happened to Esther…there weren’t words enough for the anger suddenly surging through me. The rage muted the dead baby’s cries, but in the absence of her agony, came a thread of heart-wretching sadness.

Anger I understood. I could shape it, focus the heat, and bend it to my needs. But sadness…it pressed a heavy weight against my chest, the feeling almost like drowning. And in the endless ocean of unresolved emotional baggage, I failed at even treading water.

I shook my head. Distraction wasn’t working, dammit. Back to work.

Time to get back to writing...

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