Friday, May 6, 2016

The 90's-Almost Gave Up On The Series

By 1990, I had written 15 stories in the Terry Macdonald series. I had changed some of the characters names, namely Terry's girlfriend Carrie had become Val, and Van and Val Thompson's last name changed to Thomas, but not much else had changed except that my writing was getting better

In late 1990 I finished "The Twisted Arrow" a story that would not hold up today as it deals with a Russian chess player who wants to defect to North America. It was right around this time that the Berlin Wall fell and soon after the Soviet Union disbanded. Still I liked the story. This is the first story in the series where I recorded the date I completed it, December 31,1990.

In 1991 I finished a story that took place in Hawaii, "The Silver Scorpion Mystery". it was not one of my better ones, but I was always looking for cool destinations to place my stories in and wanted to do a Hawaii mystery for years.

In 1992, "Track Of The Werewolf" was completed. Terry's cousin Cam Roberts was brought back again. Terry and Van travel to West Virginia to investigate a student accused of being a werewolf and spend time with Cam and his wife's family.

I really liked this title and was excited to get to write this story.

But something happened after I finished this story.

I ran into a writing dry spell. From 1993-1998. I did not write any stories in the Terry Macdonald series. I'm not sure why, perhaps I was bored with writing. Even though the stories were improving, the thrill of writing was gone. I tried a number of times to get back into it, but was not passionate about the characters or the titles I had thought up.

I had gotten married during this time and was adjusting to that and maybe thought that this writing thing wasn't going anywhere. I was getting older (I was now in my 30's) and figured it was silly to keep writing when I wasn't going to publish my stories.

Well, it was silly to think that just because I wasn't going to publish that I should stop writing. If I liked it, then why stop? All I needed was a cool fun title and and idea. By the end of the decade this would (finally) happen.

In 1999 I finally got back on the writing bandwagon and finished #19 "The Skeleton Room". Another great title, but the story was a little lame. The "room" was a hidden room under a midway ride at the local fairgrounds. Corey Cross returns in this one and in the 7 years since my last story written, again I noticed an improvement. I was now 34. It was 20 years since I completed "The Secret Tunnel".

This writing renaissance--and it truly was a renaissance--started me on a writing path that has lasted to this day. (early 2016).

In 2012 I completed 12 stories (10 original and 2 rewrites) and in every year since 1999 I have completed at least 2 stories a year in the Terry Macdonald Mysteries series (some years many more) except for 2005. But I was not idle from writing that year. I started a juvenile science fiction series  (more about this in a later post). I have also tried my hand at fantasy and adult mysteries.

Like I mentioned in the last post, in 2015 I finished "The Deadliest Stunt", #81 in the Terry Macdonald mysteries. In 2013 for #65 The Jungle Temple, the word count upped from 13,000 to about 17,000, adding a chapter and later that year, #68 Secret Of Devil's Cave, added another chapter to a total of 8 chapters per book.

Beginning with #79 Terror On Tour, the word count increased again from around 17,000 to around 26,000 and from 8 chapters to 12 per book.

Also in 2015 I completed the first novel in the Terry Macdonald Case Files series at over 30,000 words.

So that dry spell of the 90's is long gone and is nothing but a distant memory.

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