Key Jack Bauer’s voice: “Previously on 24…”

Oops. Sorry, got carried away. I’m enjoying this new season of 24 (after last season’s disaster, they needed to come back strong or their franchise would die a death not unlike Tony Almeida’s. Then again, Tony didn’t really die, did he?).

But I digress. When I last blogged, I’d worked with my editor to polish the manuscript. I know, I still haven’t told you the title. I will—I promise. If you haven’t yet read the prior blog posting, go ahead and read it so you’ll know what’s going on. This entry is kind of like Chapter 3… Either scroll down, or look on the right under “Categories, Prior entries.”

So I submitted the final manuscript on January 26.

And on January 27, I started writing the follow-up story to that novel. As a writer, when you’re in a rhythm, in your character’s voice, it’s best not to stop if you can help it. That is, until you must stop. Unfortunately, I had to stop writing because the novel needed to be outlined in more detail before I continued. I hate that—but it’s another fact of my writing life. That said, I often end up breaking into a chapter and writing it right there, in the middle of the outline, because I get so excited that the dialogue, the narrative, just come tumbling out of my brain.

Another thing that needed to be addressed before I started writing in earnest was doing my research. In this case, I’ve put in my first call to a particular law enforcement agency—one I haven’t yet worked with—to initiate the learning process. Sometimes the things I learn from my sources give me an idea that enhances the story I’d planned to tell.

My publisher has now read the new novel (I almost slipped there and spilled the title!) and called it “Terrific.” They’re very happy to see Karen Vail back in action. At present, the manuscript is being copyedited. I’ll explain all that in detail when that occurs. There are other things going on behind the scenes…which we’ll get to in coming entries.

Before I forget, here’s an update on the movie front—I just spoke to one of the producers. We’ve got two projects in process. For The 7th Victim, a screenwriter is now “attached.” Hard Target (the novel that was supposed to be my next release before Karen Vail hijacked me) is a bit further along. There’s now an A-list screenwriter attached as well as a director. I can’t disclose who the writer or director is, but suffice it to say I’m very excited about his involvement. That said, this is Hollywood, and like every other business nowadays, they’re cutting back. Fewer movies, smaller budgets. So, we’ll see where all this leads. One step at a time.

Okay, you’ve waited long enough—the name of the new Karen Vail novel is…the envelope, please…And the title is…Crush, and it’s due for a 9/23/09 release. What’s it about? It’s about 400 pages. More than that…you’ll have to wait till I get the green light to post that info.

Gotta get back to the new new manuscript. No, I’m not going to tell you the title of that novel…not yet, at least. More soon. (Tomorrow? Next week? As soon as I hit the next task for Crush…which is probably going to hit my desk very soon, I’ll update you. So check back.)