Thursday, June 23, 2016


by Jackie King

I’ve come to that wonderful/dreadful time between books that every author must face. I use antonyms to describe how I feel, and both fit. I’m excited about brainstorming new story ideas. I’m fearful that I’ll never be able to pull together the plot for another complete novel . (I always have this angst before I find an idea I like.) I’m eager to send out my latest book to readers. I’m reluctant to send out my latest book. What if the world of readers find my “child” ugly and uninteresting?

Did I mention that writers are sometimes a bit neurotic? Insecure? Apprehensive? We’re also curious, eager, and interested. Who else would choose to earn money by sitting alone in front of a terrifyingly blank computer screen?

Okay. That’s enough angst for now. That emotion will reappear at three in the morning to haunt me. Now it's time to plan promotion for the finished product and brainstorm plot ideas for the upcoming project. I love this. I hate this. Grrrr…

The book I’ve just finished is titled MURDER ON THE EDGE OF NOWHERE, and it’s set in the Oklahoma Panhandle. The town is fictional, but near the real town of Beaver and seventy miles from Guymon. The land is flat and the horizons stretch on forever; to my eyes this view is lovely. A good many people don’t agree. My ex-husband called it bleak. And it is, but bleak has character—and beauty—and strength.

I was born on these plains and spent a large amount of my childhood at my grandparent’s farm. I love the natives who are strong and smart and resilient. My characters are fictional, but they came alive in my mind in this made-up story.

First paragraph from the prologue:

“Everyone has something they want to hide, but you have more than most.” Christabel Steele flipped her hair backwards, a thing that she knew mesmerized men and annoyed women. She pictured her sleek, golden hair fanning in practiced perfection over her right shoulder. Her quarry’s eyes glazed with fear, and Christabel licked her lips, savoring the moment. Like an antelope caught in underbrush, but instead of blood, I’ll taste money.

MURDER ON THE EDGE OF NOWHERE is a story of a small town where people harbor deadly secrets from their past: blackmail, child abuse, and murder.


Bill Kirton said...

Oh Jackie, you've no idea how close the state you describe is to what I'm going through right now. I just finished a 100,000 word book which has taken a ridiculous 4 years to write. The relief when I typed THE END was enormous but I now find there's a huge gap in my life. Thew marketing and all that stuff needs to be done so I have plenty to do, but it's as if a close friend with whom I've spent lots of time has emigrated. But you're right, I'll find another one.

Jean Henry Mead said...

A fascinating glimpse into your new release, Jackie, and one that I'd love to read now that my eye surgeries are over. Oklahoma is my mother's home state and I'm drawn to stories from the region.

June Shaw said...

Jackie, you have caught the writer's problem so distinctly. It is quite difficult to end one book, worry about whether anyone will like it, and then dare to start another.

The opening of your new books sounds wonderful. Gotta go look for that one!

Jackie King said...

Hi Bill, I'm late in seeing your comment. I've been at sixes and sevens, (as you Brits say--or do I have it backwards?) trying to get my head together again. Your comment was greatly comforting. After I'd posted this, I wanted to snatch it back. Now I feel better. Let us all now when you meet your new playmates.

Jackie King said...

Jean, it's so comforting to know how alike we writers are.

This time I hired an outside editor to edit my book before sending it on to the publisher, and I'm so glad that I did. He's caught so many small things! My Beta Readers are also reading it now, and yesterday one told me of some "whoopsies" that would have made me blush had the book gone to print like that.

My editor has the book edited, too, but I think it's important for as many eyes as possible to look at written work.
Hugs, Jackie

Jackie King said...

Hi June, Your opinion cheered me. Thanks for commenting. Writing is a lonely business, and we need to all hang together.
Best wishes,