Nobody saw it coming but the little red devil in me

Yes, it’s been awhile. I feel like I say that a lot, but during this particular lull I’ve had deadlines and book releases and a lingering antibiotic-resistant illness and Lucy to socialize/housebreak and several more in-person events and a couple of interviews and several Skype chats with school kids and also Halloween.

In short, I’ve been swamped. So swamped, that I’ve formally submitted notice that the first draft of my next book is going to be a bit late. It was originally slated for November 1, but I figured out a few weeks ago that it just wasn’t going to happen – so I gave my editor and agent a heads up, sucked it up, and now I’m shooting for New Year’s Day.

That said, I hope to post progress much more frequently than I’ve been blogging for the last couple of months but shit happens – so don’t hold me to it.

For now – here’s progress on my rural gothic monster story about small-town secrets, old family lies, accidental legend-tripping, and a missing newlywed in the Okefenokee swamp – where you can drive SR 177 from west to east and cross six bridges…or take it from east to west, and you might hit seven. (But you’d better hope not.)

    Project: The Toll
    Deadline: January 1, 2016
    New words written: n/a
    Present total word count: 23,430

    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Jesus, I don’t even remember.

    Other: Who even knows.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: [Today] Neighborhood jaunt with dogs; cleanup in the wake of last night’s kickass annual Halloween bash; took down all the Halloween decorations outside and most of the decorations inside, then convinced the husband to hoof it all up to the attic until next year; took a nap after meds made me sleepy.

    Dog Other: Lucy is on day 13 of No Dog Crime* – which is to say no inappropriate indoor pottying, no catfood sneaking, no pillow disemboweling, etc. This is the longest she’s ever gone in a single stretch, so our fingers are properly crossed! Mind you, once in a blue moon, she’ll disagree with Greyson about something and they’ll have a little spat – but it’s never serious. It’s just Lucy gaining confidence as she settles in here, and begins to behave more like a little sister than a nervous guest. 99 times out of 100 they are best buddies who hang out, play chase, and share toys. And one time out of a hundred, Lucy gets turfy about a treat. Greyson will have hurt feelings for half an hour, and then they’re off to play again.

    Cat Other: The eldercat continues to do well, and her vet says she’ll outlive us all. Quinnie had her 1-year checkup after the spay surgery, revealing that our little house leopard is up to 15 pounds. God help us. In other news, she’s decided that Lucy is pretty darn all right, so now she has TWO dogs to snuggle with.

    Bonus Pet Other: The eldercat is STILL the ruler of the roost. I love the pic below because she’s eating a sprinkle of cat treats, and the other 3 animals are hovering to see if she’ll leave any behind. That’s 15 pounds of cat and about 150 pounds worth of dog…all hanging back to let the 18-year-old, 8 pound cat finish her business. Even though that business is delicious.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 96,000

In closing, please don’t forget to go leave reviews for any spooky books you might have read recently. Amazon, Goodreads, you know. Wherever. The feedback on The Family Plot has been great, and I am tremendously grateful for all the support! But the algorithms must be fed, so I beg anyone who feels compelled to venture a public opinion, kindly consider stopping by the following and leaving a few stars and a few words. It helps put kibble in bowls and pay vet bills!

The Family Plot at
The Family Plot at Goodreads
The Family Plot at B&N

* She peed on the bedroom rug last night, but that’s our fault – we thought she wanted to go outside and woof at the trick-or-treaters. So we kept her inside too long. That one’s a mulligan.

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