Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Third Charm is the Time

The first two books in the Witching Savannah series are safely in the care of my publisher.  The ARC of book one, The Line, should be in my sweaty little hands in the very near future, and book two, The Source, has been shipped off for copy editing. 

However, it is with growing angst that I must report that The Void, the series' third installment, remains nothing more than a gleam on my computer screen.  Well, that isn't exactly true.  I know how it ends.  And I should know how to get there. Really, I should. I know my characters by now.  I know how they think.  How they act and react.  The problem is none of them seem to want to come out and play with me right now.  They are sitting back politely and waiting for me to set some interesting events in motion. 

Well, all of them are polite except Oliver, the heroine's uncle, that is. He keeps tapping his watch and saying "Come on, fat boy.  Let's get this show on the road." I remind him that if he thinks that attitude is going to land him a happy ending, he is sorely mistaken.  But then he flashes me his patented smile, and all is forgiven. 

I did have a great beginning.  One so chock full of Sturm und Drang that Mercy, the series' heroine, told me no.  She would meet me there if I gave her a nice stretch to warm up, but there was no way--well, no way in hell is what she actually said--that she was starting out there. 

So I came up with a second great beginning.  One that provides an opportunity for both intrigue and pageantry. Oh, and a bit of a history lesson to boot.   I offered my characters a chance to attend a party trapped in time: the wrap party for Stolen Moments, Rudolph Valentino's last turn as a bad guy before his breakout success in The Four Horsemen of the ApocalypseStolen Moments was filmed in Savannah's once renowned Greenwich Mansion.  After a fire in 1923 reduced the grand home to rubble, its grounds were repurposed as a cemetery.  The Greenwich Cemetery shares a boundary with its much more famous neighbor, Bonaventure Cemetery.

Oliver is happy as he gets to wear a vintage tux.  Mercy does not share his enthusiasm as the party takes place in 1920, a full five years short of the dawn of the flapper.  I've been offering Mercy designs by Paul Poiret and Callot Soeurs, but she is not impressed enough to trade it for the ripped SCAD sweatshirt I swear she has been wearing every day since the end of The Source.

She keeps complaining that she won't even get the chance to meet Valentino since his participation in the filming was wrapped up early so that he could move on to his Four Horsemen role. He didn't hang around for any stupid wrap party.

There will be jazz, I promise her, and a chance to hear Marguerite Namara sing.  She pushes the sleeves of her sweatshirt up.  "Marguerite who?"  Mercy's Aunt Iris, who loves all things historical, begins to explain that Ms. Namara was an accomplished soprano, star of both stage and screen, but the look Mercy flashes her causes Iris' voice to trail off.

I point out that we could always go back to the first beginning I had planned, but her response is a simple "Let's see you do this one without me, fat boy."  I think Mercy has been spending far too much time with her uncle of late.

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