(I particularly like the end, where the mandolin guy goes over to hug her and she curves away from him and then pushes him away. “My pretty mouth will frame the phrases that will disprove your faith in man,” after all.)
On another topic:
I’ve been rather unproductive recently — writing-wise. I have finished the rewrite of “The Bus Station Mystery.” It’s pretty much the same as it’s always been — same story, same characters, same resolution — but more filled out. The characters are given a little more room to breathe (and suspects are better suspects when you have a clear sense of who they are). I’ll post a link when it’s updated online.
So, I’ve been wondering what to tackle next. What’s nagged at me for a while is the story I’ve been calling “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…” It’s got a good beginning, a solid end, good characters… and I’ve finally figured out what the problem was (and a possible solution).
The problem is that there are a lot of characters with a lot of fairly complex backstory, and it’s difficult to figure out how to cram all the history into this story for readers who’ve never read my stuff before.
Well, it just occurred to me that I could do what I did before, with The Jan Sleet Mysteries.
That was a series of stories that were designed to be read in order (a “stealth novel,” as I called it later), so each one could rely on what a reader learned in the earlier ones. Well, why not have “The Stevie One Adventures,” including Stevie One, One Night at the Quarter, and “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night” (or whatever it ends up being called). The two earlier stories (novellas, really) provide all the backstory that a reader of the third one could require, and Stevie One, in particular, works really well for new readers.
Proving once again, as I’ve said before, that I can try to write short stories, but novels are really the distance I’m trained for.