Introducing Rubicon Ranch: A Collaborative Novel

I am involved in a wonderful project with eight other Second Wind authors. Rubicon Ranch is an ongoing collaborative novel that we are writing online. It is the story of people whose lives have been changed when a little girl’s body was found in the wilderness near the desert community of Rubicon Ranch. Was it an accident? Or . . . murder! But who would want to kill a child? Everyone in this upscale housing development is hiding something. Everyone has an agenda. Everyone’s life will be different after they have encountered the Rubicon. Rubicon Ranch, that is.

Each of us writers is responsible for the development of our own characters. My character is Melanie Gray. She has traveled the world with her husband, a world-renowned photographer. Together they authored many coffee-table books (she did the writing, he the photographs). One of the books told about mountains of the world, one about rivers, one about oceans, one about forests, and now they have a contract to do deserts. After they rented a house in Rubicon Ranch to begin their in-depth study of the southwestern deserts, he died in a car accident.

Now, not only does she have to deal with the pain of losing her husband and figuring out what she’s going to do for the rest of her life, she needs to fulfill the publishing contract or she’ll have to reimburse the publishers, which she cannot do because the advance is all but spent. Since she is not a photographer, she roams the desert bordering on Rubicon Ranch, taking hundreds of photos, hoping that a few of them will accidentally end up being as brilliant as her husband’s photos always were. She finds the child’s body and takes photos of the scene after calling 911. At first she is a suspect but once the Sheriff has ruled her out, he requests her help in reading the desert and desert-related clues. Still, the sheriff does not trust her completely, thinking she is hiding something.

These chapters have already been posted:

An additional chapter will be posted every Monday. Please join in the adventure — it should be fun! We don’t even know whodunit and won’t know until the end.

First Lines and Free Time

Can you believe it? This is the thirtieth day of my Daughter Am I blog tour! Only five days left. Oh, dear . . . what am I going to do with all that free time? As if I don’t know.

For one thing, I’m going to get back to writing. I figure if I tell myself this enough, it will sink in and I will actually do it. I keep hoping I’ll stumble on a new idea to give me a renewed enthusiasm for the story, but perhaps that idea will come during the writing. I’ve been rereading what I’ve already written so I know what the story is, and it’s different, but then what’s the point of writing the same?

For another thing, I’ve decided to follow the story of A Spark of Heavenly Fire in real time on my blog. I just checked the book. The story begins on December 2. Whatever happened to December 1? That’s when the original story started. Apparently, when I condensed the first fifty pages, I decided to leave the rest of the timeline intact. The book originally began with Rachel Abram’s death on December 1, then the jogger’s death on December 2. Somehow in the rewrite, the order got reversed.

My original first line was: “There’s something terribly wrong with me,” Rachel Abrams said. “I feel great.” I always liked the idea of starting with that line, but sometimes we need to do what’s best for the story.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I have to focus on this tour — there are still articles about Daughter Am I to write, comments to respond to, and the end-of-the-tour party to plan. As if that’s not enough, my party will run concurrently with the Second Wind Publishing new release party. Daughter Am I will be in good company. JJ Dare’s new book False World has just been released, and so has One Too Many Blows to the Head by Eric Beetner and JB Kohl.

Today’s tour stops are all wonderful, and that’s due in no small part to my hosts.

I’m in South Africa with horror writer Joan De La Haye talking about: Creating Interesting Characters.

I’m talking Over Coffee with Sia McKye about: Running with a Gang of Rogues.

And I’m on Bobby Ozuna’s blog talking about: The Story Behind the Story–an Author Interviewed.

DAIClick here to find the Daughter Am I Blog Tour Schedule 

Click here to buy Daughter Am I from Second Wind Publishing, LLC. 

Click here to buy Daughter Am I from Amazon.

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook