Thursday, January 2, 2014

Natural Progression of a Novelist

I just released my eighth book (seventh novel), Shrouded In Secrets. I’m very proud of the finished product and I hope readers will agree that it is an exciting well-written adventure.  Shrouded In Secrets is the culmination of many years of hard work, a lot of learning along the way, and the dedicated editorial efforts of a wonderful publisher. 

When my first novel, The Lodge, came out a decade ago I was thrilled. The cover was so beautiful it nearly made me cry when I held it in my hands and gazed lovingly at the magnificent artwork, and at the time it was my best work and I still believe it has merit. When I read it now, though, I can pick out a number of things I would do differently today, but that’s the natural progression of a novelist, to learn from ones mistakes to enable each book to be better than the last. 

Since publication of TheLodge I’ve learned a great deal about voice, point of view, pace, and the importance of a good editor (I’m apparently not the infallible grammarian I once thought I was). The improvement between each of my early novels was significant. After nearly fifteen years of writing, the improvements are more subtle from book to book and the determination today of which novel is my “best” novel is probably more a matter of taste. I’ve also learned about my niche. The Lodge is a cozy mystery, the traditional “who done it?” Its sequel, Deadly Ruins, made it immediately clear that I was more attuned to suspense and my work has continued to evolve happily and comfortably into adventure suspense with elements of romance.  

So for those who follow my work, I hope you can appreciate the progression, growth, and evolution of my novels. But, most of all I hope you enjoy the adventures whether at a lodge in Alaska, the mountains of Wyoming, the deserts of the American Southwest, the jungles of Mexico, or throughout an epic jaunt around the world. 

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