Thursday, June 26, 2014

New "Nameless, Texas" Novella coming soon!

Dear Reader-Friends,

Way back in 1999 or 2000, I started my very first cozy mystery about a fiber artist who lives in a small Texas town. This was several years before I wrote LONE STAR DEATH, my historical Texas mystery. Now, 14 years later, I've decided to revisit my first book, polish it and publish it as a novella.

Back then, I had an idea for a sleuth who was a weaver. I'd written a lot about the fiber arts, had a degree in textiles, and was an internationally known "expert" in the field. I had wanted to do some fiction writing for a while, and figured that I'd combine my two interests. This particular story involves natural dyeing with plants---specifically, indigo---in the story line. I had written several how-to books on the craft and grew an extensive dyer's garden of my own.

One of my how-to books written under my previous name, Bobbi A. McRae
Thing is, back then, the popularity of the "occupational" cozy sleuth hadn't come about just yet, and  although publishers were intrigued and somewhat interested, they weren't sure they could sell this idea. I have to laugh at that concept now, because we all know those types of books are very popular.

Lots has happened between there and here in my writing life, and when I finally sat down to revise the story, it seemed  like visiting with some old friends I haven't seen for a while.

Thing is, they aren't old friends. Once I started revising the text, I realized they are the same folks who inhabit my current "Nameless, Texas" short story series.  You'll find Aunt Jewel, Kendra, Jeremy and more. There are a few new ones and some of the relationships have changed, but in general, it's the same place. That tickles me. :-)

I kept the original idea of the story and changed it a bit to fit my Nameless story world. A few  things surprised and amused me--especially the pay phones and film cameras used in the story. They definitely added to the time the sleuth spent chasing around town and waiting for film to be developed, but was easy to fix. 

And since I've been writing a lot of short stories and prefer the shorter length, I decided to make the novel a novella, coming in around 30,000 words. I hope it will appeal to the many readers who like my short story series and the quirky folks who inhabit Nameless, Texas.

So keep an eye peeled for DYE, DYEING, DEAD---coming by the end of July!

(And yes, it's spelled that way on purpose.) :-D

Happy trails,

bobbi c.


Mschenten said...

Looking forward to it.

Jan Christensen said...

This is great, Bobbi. It can be hard to update an older work, but it sounds as if you had very little trouble doing it. I've updated two in the last year. One was easier than the other. Yet a third I left in the 1980s. I wrote it late 90s, and put it in the 80s on purpose, so left it there. Good luck with your latest (updated) project.

Bobbi A. Chukran, Author said...

Thanks, Jan. I didn't have a lot of trouble at all. Of course, this is not a full-length novel, so that helped. When you set a story in a small town where things almost never change, it's much easier, too. Younger people were wearing the same clothes back then (jeans, etc.), driving the same kinds of cars. And the older ladies always dress up for events in their Sunday clothes, looking like something out of the '50s, so I didn't have to change that, either.

Bobbi A. Chukran, Author said...

Thank you, Mschenten!