I just finished the first draft of the first book in a new series. Don’t worry, The 7 Deadly Sins will still be arriving on time—with the exception of The Sanctity of Sloth. The original release date of this book was at the end of August. For an exciting reason I’m not at liberty to divulge, it will be a little late. I’ll keep you posted.
Back to the new series.
As those of you who have been keeping up with the Sins know, each book has its own protagonist. This isn’t traditional in mystery writing circles. Generally one professional or amateur sleuth is the star of an entire series, think Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple. But I couldn’t think of a character I believed to be interesting enough to carry more than one book, until now.
Imogene Lynch has been born.
In my imagination. I’ll tell you more about her in future posts, but one of the things I love about this character is she can travel. Although her base of operations is Orange County, California, just like the heroines of the 7 Deadly Sins, she will have many stories to tell and more time to tell them.
I’m leaving for France in a week. Guess who is going with me? Imogene, of course. The great thing about being a fiction writer is you’re never alone. And the great thing about travel is it sharpens your senses.
I grew up on the East Coast of the United States.
When I was a child, we spent many summers on Fire Island, New York. Fire Island is a long, narrow spit of land with a bay on one side and the Atlantic on the other. For a city girl it was heaven to spend days running free and nights roaming the beach with a pack of vacation buddies.
My memories of those days returns in technicolor whenever I smell kelp and salt air. I live close to the Pacific now and hardly a week goes by that I don’t make it to the beach. But those early experiences are so imprinted on my brain, when the breeze is right they come galloping back.
Gwen, the protagonist in A Margin of Lust , says it best as she hides in an alley outside the back door of a flower shop.
The odor of rotting flower stems permeated the air. Gwen knew, in the future, whenever she dumped a vase of old blooms, she’d be transported to this horrible moment. Smell, strong emotion, and memory occupied close territory in the brain. The scent of decaying vegetation was right now linking arms with regret, fear, indecision, and embarrassment and trotting into her neural pathways. She had to get out of there.
While Imogene and I are in France, we plan to soak in the mystery of the Catacombs, bask in the opulence of Versailles, experience the grief on the beach at Normandy and inhale the fragrance of Loire Valley vineyards. We’ll report back to you, in story form.
Do you have memories that are triggered by a scent, or the touch of the breeze on your skin, or an ice cream flavor? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.