I sometimes wonder how many simultaneous works at various stages of completion – story ideas, time lines, character studies, snips of dialog, general notes and actual prose – other authors typically have on their virtual countertops. And I wonder how often the primary work they have on the front burner gets temporarily set aside because a hot new idea comes along that progressively claims more and more of their cerebral resources. I suppose what I’m truly wondering is whether I might suffer from some grade of attention deficit disorder.
By the time I published The Desolate Homestead last month – actually, before I even handed it off to my editor for its final review – I already had the basic plot, the chapter outlines and a few key dialogs complete for the sequel (currently under the working title “Defending the Righteous”). And I still am faithfully at work on relating that story to you, dear reader.
But just after Christmas, a rather sexy silver fox named Lex Madris started meandering through my mindscape, and I’ve found myself spending what might be an inordinate amount of time over the last week and a half getting to know him – and his family, friends and colleagues – and weaving a complex story around him. I’ve accompanied him on a few mental jogs along the repaved coastal road of an old fishing island lost somewhere in the South Atlantic, listening to him talk of his past. He’s shown me the castle there – an enormous stone edifice that’s been extensively refurbished and outfitted as an adult playground, from its lowest dungeons to its highest turrets. He’s shown me the luxury chalets of the village that rises on the hills behind the island’s sole but extensive white sand beach. And he’s hinted to me about the fantasies that bring people of extraordinary means to that remote corner of the world.
It’s no dilemma, really. I certainly hope not, anyway, because there are plenty of other works simmering gently on the back burners, too. But damn! Lex is hot, and his story intrigues me, and I think I’m going to spend just a little more time on this island with him before I get back to plains of Montana.