It's a good feeling to finish something that took nearly six months, and to be pleased with it. I'm talking about completing the sequel to Signs of Struggle, my debut novel in the general fiction field. I had no intention of writing a sequel, seeing SOS as a stand-alone story about a man in mid-life struggling with his demons and partly succeeding. Then my publisher said her mother wanted more about Thomas O'Shea, my protagonist. The publisher echoed her mom. And then several people who read SOS said they wanted to know more about Thomas. So I thought, okay, I can do that. And now I have. The sequel, A Far Gone Night, continues the story of Thomas O'Shea and his stumbling pursuit of the lovely and prickly Olivia Olson. All the usual wackos show up again, led by Lunatic Mooning, the Ojibwa Indian who runs The Grain o' Truth Bar & Grill in sleepy Rockbluff, Iowa. And there's also Sheriff Harmon Payne, Arvid Pendergast (who keeps playing dead to boost his business), and the rather straightforward barkeep/rassler/future surgeon - Bunza Steele. New characters include Clancy Dominguez, ex-SEAL friend of Thomas, and Boots Bednarik, bookstore owner. And of course there is the alluring and persistent writer, Suzanne Highsmith.
Throw these characters together and toss in a nude, dead body of an Indian girl floating in the Whitetail River, and things get interesting and interestinger. I'll keep you posted. Next stop: My book concierge, the gifted and talented Rowe Copeland, and then off to the publisher. No idea when the book will be ready to pick up, but I'll let you know.
Now, while sitting in a faculty meeting earlier this week, I found myself sketching notes for book number three in the life of Thomas O'Shea. And thank you all who purchased SOS and have even recommended it to your book clubs. What fun! I love writing!