Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Hanging Hiatus

 I am in that strange land of having delivered a book and waiting to hear if the editor likes it, or if she thinks it's so bad she has had to go on some medication.


                                                   Or merely to amuse while our reader is waiting for a delayed flight!

Firstly, there is imposter syndrome. One of these days I will be found out. I hit the big time with my first attempt at writing a novel. Everything I have written has been published and there will be a time when somebody finds out that I can't write for toffee.

Secondly, I have no idea what I am going to write- as the MIE readers know, it's a chaotic ( I do believe agile is the better word ) process, painful and disorganised ( Ok organic)  and therefore I'm kind of stumped when my editor says  she needs something like a synopsis to take to a meeting. When it was 'her' I used to send in an email that said

Book X  somebody gets murdered and the cops find out who did it

Book Y  ditto

You can see that it was a bit scanty on detail.


                           Writing feels like climbing onto the upper decks of the Titanic!

But then I have never had identical twins, time travel, voodoo or a psychic popping up at the end and giving  the cops the killer's phone number, in  my books so over the years, I suppose some trust has been formed.  With the new buy out and the imprint of the buy out, and the new deal of the imprint of the buy out  with another publisher, she needs a wee bit more to take to the 'meeting'.  For that novel she got a few lines  which were written by a journalist friend as I lay on the carpet staring at the ceiling and spurting nonsense.


                                               The latest incarnation of the first book.

Of course, the book I delivered is nothing like that scenario.  I think she might notice.  She might object. But as yet, I do not know.

When I wrote the standalone Mosaic ( soon to be republished as The Cursed Girls which will confuse everybody including me ), I did mention it to the editor before I started writing it. We had a coffee and cake,  and in the end she nodded and  gave me the green light.

With lockdown, the business,  the builders, the stress - all that has been going on, I was looking forward to having a bit of space in my head when the book was sent away. I had no ideas what to write,  I had no ideas of getting out my bed to be honest.

I pressed send on the file at 4.55 on Good Friday.   Worked Saturday and Sunday... Sunday night two wee earworms of ideas appeared.

One was a rubbish idea.... but I want to write a book about the seven old friends invited to an island  and one by one...... but it's been done so many times before and I don't think I could bring  anything new to it. Then a patient came in who works --- wait for it -- on a quarry on an island off the west coast.  And all there is on that island is the quarry. A small boat goes back and forth once a week, or not if the weather is bad. And a big boat visits to lift up the  quarried  stone that I think is for curling stones.  That idea is on the back burner but tumbling around in my head.

The other was an idea about cults. I could put the cult on an island. With a quarry. Good body disposal there.  And people trying to get their kids back.... a bit of thinking resumed.


                      This a rain map of Scotland, the higher the peak, the greater the rainfall.

                                           It is indeed a rainforest.

Then I went back to those famous List murders where the Dad killed his entire family and laid them out together, side by side in one room. There's two storylines there but one good coffee ( black, no unicorns) and a raspberry doughnut,  a fountain pen full of blood red ink ( purchased at Bouchercon Toronto) and a scrap of A4 paper and the two storylines were united in  mayhem and murder.


                                                A coffee outdoors in Glasgow on Tuesday.

Caro Ramsay ( under a rain cloud)



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  4. Were the three comments above other ideas you've had for your next blockbuster?

  5. Err... no .... that sort of thing can lend my mind to murder though

  6. I am concerned for the safety of the quarry workers. Though I'm happy to see the iceman cameth.