A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To "The Fixer"
November 21, 2014The last time I published a book was 2009. It’s no secret that writers have a myriad of problems; we’re a notoriously moody, preoccupied, anxious, and angst ridden bunch. There are two basic nightmare scenarios for writers: not being able to write and not being able to finish what we write. The jury is still out on which is worse.
I did write another book after For Better or Worse. It was called Deciphering Bella. It was about a married couple and the wife suffers from mental illness. The story explores the level of commitment between a husband and wife when life events are what they “didn’t sign up for.” I loved that story. I was the only one. What can you do? It happens. I put it away.
And then something happened. It wasn’t as if I was doing nothing. I was doing lots of somethings. I went back to school, finished a Master’s degree, tutored English, wrote a few short stories, a bunch of blog posts, a screenplay, and created a cartoon strip (artwork and text). But a full story wasn’t coming.
It’s one thing to stare at a blank piece of paper. That wasn’t my problem. I had story ideas, lots of ideas. I even had titles. I never think of titles. Scenes would come to me out of the blue. But for different stories. Then came the great yellow pad debacle of Spring 2014. I could only write on small 4.5 x 7 yellow legal pads. Don’t ask. I now have piles of small yellow legal pads all over the apartment. Lots of small, half-filled yellow legal pads.
I’m a follower, a practitioner, a true believer of the Robert McKee method of structuring and writing a story. I took his seminar, read his book. His class changed my writing life. His class made Project Jennifer and For Better or Worse possible. The man is my Yoda. But I couldn’t settle down. I couldn’t do the outlines, the character profiles, the scene narratives.
And then something else happened. A few months ago on a Saturday night, my mother showed me an article on authors successfully self publishing on Amazon. I went to bed that night agitated and irritated. What was I doing? Actually, why wasn’t I doing what I was supposed to be doing? What I was meant to be doing? Early Sunday morning, I woke up to my moment of clarity. And an idea.
It was a spark. A young woman and a wealthy, powerful man. A story of mystery and suspense. She’s a fixer on the verge of failure. He issues an offer to help. He’ll fix the problem for her, for a price. I dug deeper into the idea. Who is this young woman? How does she get into this? There are several stories about fixers now, Scandal, and Ray Donovan to name a few. What place would Katerina Mills have? As I got to know her better, I realized that the novella stories would form an origin series. It will be exciting to see Kat grow and change into the woman she will become and how she will handle a world she is unprepared for. The pieces began falling into place as the magical process of the story parts connecting to each other took off.
So that’s what happened. I feel like I’m back and it’s an amazing feeling, even though I can only write the stories using cream colored paper journal books. Don’t ask.
Next post I’ll be introducing the characters one at a time, starting with Katerina Mills.
Stay tuned. Information for the first contest is coming soon!