These days I’m obsessed with finishing my new novel, “The Sanibel Sunset Detective Returns.”
My brother Ric got me into this a couple of years ago. He is the president of the Sanibel Island Chamber of Commerce. He introduced me to the island, and suggested I write a series of novels set on one of Florida’s last (mostly) untouched paradises.
I thought up an unlikely private eye on an island where it would seem no one would have much need for a detective. What would happen to him?
The result was “The Sanibel Sunset Detective.” It has sold remarkably well in the past year. Now I’m trying to get the second adventure finished.
It’s due out in November. A lot of readers tell me they are eagerly awaiting “The Sanibel Sunset Detective Returns.” People actually stop me on the street and ask when it will be published.
As thrilling as that is, it is also scary: suppose the novel doesn’t measure up? Maybe no one will like it. I wake up in the middle of the night, anxious.
Does it make sense that my hero, private detective Tree Callister should be handcuffed to two corpses and attacked by alligators? Is that too much? Or maybe it works—taking Tree into a darker place. Yeah, that could work.
I’m up at 5:30 most mornings, staring at the computer screen. Rewriting.
I’ve just finished the third draft. Tomorrow morning I start work on the forth. Tree and the corpses and the handcuffs are still there.
For the moment. We will see.
Dawn breaks outside my office window. Clinton, our beloved French hound, is nudging at me. It’s time for the morning run. He doesn’t seem to care much about the new novel or expectant readers or anxious authors. Selfish dog. But so lovable.
I rewrite. I worry.