I have had some folks who care about my welfare ask me about the progress I’m making on the next Jack Steven’s adventure with his lovely and inventive partner Amy Larkin. I’d like to say that I am about finished with it. That is what I’D LIKE TO SAY.
The truth is I got sidetracked. If you are an author you know how it is. You write something, or try to, everyday. And sometimes because your mind is always playing around with you something will kick off an idea and you find you are not writing what you are SUPPOSED to be writing, but something else. And that is what happened to me. I was waltzing along about a third of the way through “Tropical Rage” (the next in the Jack Steven’s series) and all of a sudden I had this urge to write about, get this, a 1920s barn-storming Air Circus.
The next thing I know I have the first draft of about a 50 page story about rough and tumble guys flying old WW-1 surplus “Jennys” and beautiful women wing-walking and doing parachute jumps over a farmer’s field in Hickstown U.S.A. I enjoyed writing it. It has all the elements of a good story. Some excitement, some adventure, some romance, and the surprise ending that a good short story always has. The problem—it’s too long for a “short” story, but not long enough to be a novella. So what do I do now?
There is only one recourse. After I polish it up, I will publish it on Amazon as a “single.” Will anybody pay .99 for it? Heck, I don’t know and it really doesn’t matter. I learned a long time ago that a story (book, short-story, vignette, whatever) TAKES AS LONG AS IT TAKES, AND NO LONGER. Elmore Leonard said about his work that he wrote it and then took out the parts that nobody wanted to read. That makes sense. You’ve seen and probably been hooked into buying a book and then found that the author really had a short story but added a lot of “filler” so he (or she) could sell it as a book. Not good. So after I rewrite my “Riley’s World Famous Air Circus” a few times until I think it is “ripe” I will publish it and maybe a few people will read it. I can’t help it. I am a writer and I have to write what my imagination tells me to write.
And then I can get back to Jack and Amy and see if I can pull them out of the jam they have gotten themselves into this time. So the publish date of “Tropical Rage” has been delayed, but I hope the delay will make it a better book for you to enjoy—someday.