Sunday, June 3, 2012
The most interesting thing about the writing process was learning that hammering out 90k words was the easy part. I'd initially thought that writing something novel length would be tortuous, but once I got going the pages added up pretty quickly. The hard part was trying to say things in an original way. Every sentence, every line of dialogue offers a temptation to resort to cliche, commonplace phrases, and boilerplate metaphors and similies. That was the hard part. Almost as difficult was keeping on top of the plot. Once I started writing the story, which was mapped out pretty neatly in my head at the beginning, it took on a life of its own. That was annoying. It's hard to describe, but it was as though the story was always one jump ahead of me and I was playing catch up.
And now to the novel. It's about the disappearance of the daughter of a woman who's just won big in the lottery. My detective, Quentin Winchester, is actually a secondhand goods dealer who gets roped into looking for the woman by his brother Ron, a lawyer. I've tried to write a mystery that's amusing, puzzling, and also gives readers a sense of what life in Toronto is like. Many years ago I worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reading scripts and novels for their Movies and Mini-Series department. It always annoyed me that the Toronto presented in so many crime novels was either impossibly hardboiled or ridiculously twee. I hope my novel shows Toronto to be neither. Anyway, it's available now for the low price of only $18 by clicking here, or by clicking on the cover thumbnail on the top right. It will also be available through Amazon.com about a week after the date of this post. Buy one. Buy several. You can use it to hold open windows, as a mouse pad, and as a decorative and literary drinks coaster. If you do buy and read it, please let me know what you think, even if, gulp, you dislike it.