Once again, my professional life contributed source material. The psychologist character became a graduate student in counseling psychology who was working on his PhD. The young therapist is doing his practicum placement at the university counseling center and he is assigned a teenage client who is seeing ‘things’. Since I teach practicum classes at both the Master’s level and the PhD level, I have a pretty good idea what the process feels like for trainees. I decided early in the process that the entire context for the novel would take place within the counseling relationship between the teen and the student. I found I couldn’t hold myself to this given the complexity of the plot, but I managed to keep all points of view outside of the therapy to the graduate student.
As life tends to be unpredictable, my third effort, Dead Works, was published after Birth Offering. I was still messing with Sweet Aswang, and was pleased when Damnation Books accepted Dead Works. Anyway, with Sweet Aswang still in the wings, my first three books were shaping up to have teenage protagonists.
So, I was sick of kids.
Then I started work on my next piece, tentatively titled Collection. This took nearly two years to finish, but I am pleased to announce that the first complete draft was saved to multiple files last week. This will remain untouched for three or four months before I go back to begin the revision process. I am excited to say that the point of view is entirely from a 60-year old female sheriff. Quite a departure from the usual stuff, but a refreshing challenge. I had to put myself into a mindset of the character, and I started by engaging her inner dialog without swearing. Now, I realize that 60-year old women these days do not restrict themselves to the king’s English (I know plenty of women around that age and many curse like sailors), but I felt that Lacey would not do this. So, that was my initial effort for that point of view. Teenagers have more range when it comes to naughty words, but a more limited vocabulary. However, my 60 year old sheriff was ended up being a refined thinker. We’ll see how she holds up after my three or four month hiatus from the manuscript.