In the writing room right now ...

In the writing room right now ... I have taken down the brown "butcher" paper that held ideas, photos, drawings, and my hand-drawn maps and plot outlines for the past five or six books. I've placed all those items into three-ring binders, and cleared the deck for paintings and photographs that involve courage, as I move forward in GHOSTKEEPER, the new novel set in Lyndonville, Vermont. My 1850 Vermont adventure THE LONG SHADOW is under contract with Five Star/Cengage -- I will give you a publication date as soon as I know! Scribbling lots of poems, too. And there's a possible route to publication of the "Vermont Nancy Drew" novel I built on Wattpad (see right-hand column). Yes, I guess I do like multi-tasking! How about you?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"When I Find My Real Parents, Then I'm Going to ..."

I've heard that lots of people imagine at some point that they've been adopted, or kidnapped, or some other reason that could end up meaning that their "real parents" aren't the ones who are raising them, scolding them, feeding them, loving them. A classic twist is that the vanished parents are rich, or royal, and all that good stuff will arrive as soon as the mystery is solved.

In The Secret Room (that's my 2011 book coming out from Voyage in June), there's no reason to suspect such a situation in Shawna Lee's life. Sure, her dad died when she was little, but her mother married a nice guy and Shawna likes him.  Until the moment her new neighbor, Thea Warwick, works on a math problem with her, Shawna hasn't expected mysteries in her life at all.

Neither did two people that I've known very closely as adults, who accidentally found out that the families they'd been living in weren't who and what they seemed. Truth can be stranger than fiction -- or it can be the inspiration for a novel.

Don't ask me how the Underground Railroad got tied up in all this. I only know that the puzzle pieces in front of me included a "hiding place" in an old house in the town where I used to live.

And that's how a story begins.

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