The writer itch cannot be denied. The plots and sub-plots continue to stir and settle into a sequence of events, and characters surface and will not be denied. In fact, it’s a crime to even try…
Which brings me to my latest work in progress. It’s a crime. A real one. Actually, it’s a series of real ones, small pieces of a larger puzzle, where no co-incidence should go unexplored. I’m having a blast, but I’m also discovering how much there is to learn.
And that, of course, is the greatest fun of all. I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve never yet had any first hand experience with committing any crime, either small or large. Learning to think like the ‘baddies’ is rather a novel experience, as is researching bombs, weapons, and forensics. A whole new world has opened up, one of infinite learning curves that leave me breathless. I never thought I had the ‘Sherlock gene’ but I’m discovering the fascination of exploring possible clues, or what to do when there are no clues at all, and how to juggle the multiple threads of seemingly random things so that they follow the path to truth.
Below The Surface was the phrase that kept coming to mind, so that – at least for now – is the title. Things are not what they seem. Everything is different below the surface. One must read between the lines, unearth the clues – and a few skeletal remains – and piece together a very different reality.
Of course, my characters aren’t giving anything away. They remain obstinate. It’s clearly a ‘need to know’ basis. They’re intent on leading me through piece by piece, only allowing me time out to do the research. I suppose that’s promising. After all, hopefully the ‘whodunnit’ will be sufficiently enticing if even the author is asking the question thoughout.
South Africa is, of course, a great setting for a crime story that stretches back into our more recent past. There are any number of ‘historical possibilities’ that add flavor and additional twists to the tail. There are some pretty awesome settings, too, places off the beaten track and wildly beautiful to explore as the sleuths rummage around for enlightenment.
All in all, it promises to be a journey of fun and adventure. As a writer, what more could one ask? That’s the real joy of writing – discovering weird and wonderful convolutions and surprises, zany facts and interesting characters.
And, of course, I get to say “All I think of is murder” and not have people look at me strangely…