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|
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