The Making of a Novel: Part 1


My typical  day starts  something like this: Awake at  7 a.m. (give or take) Kick the cat out of bed, make coffee, read the headlines, opinions, comics, do the crossword, eat a bowl of cereal, take a walk, write. I try to stay on writing for at least two hours, but when the ideas stop, so do I.

Yesterday was a little different. Around 8:30 last night and completely burned out with the Olympics, I was back at the keyboard. I needed to make the deputy, Billy Ray Ledbetter, more interesting, perhaps reveal a darker side. That and the little problem on how to re-introduce Carmella Middleton, the other deputy, to readers unfamiliar with her. I decided to have Lester explain his relationship with Carmella to the dog, Harley. Harley is an excellent listener.

All of these problems cleared up right in the middle of the 428th swimming competition of the week.

I swear I don’t plagiarize, but no sooner do I finish a chapter than I see the same names and phrases in whatever novel I’m reading at the time. Right now it’s James Lee Burke’s, Light of the World. Great minds run in same directions? Nope. JLB is on a whole other level. More like pure coincidence.


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