My editor (I always feel very important when I say or write ‘my editor’, like I must already be a successful writer if I have an editor), has suggested I blog about my book. Apparently I should be building tension in the readers of this blog so that when the big day arrives and the book is published and ready for buying, there will be line-ups a quarter-mile long in front of bookshops selling my book. Or, more likely (if it’s going to be likely at all), an internet slow-down due to the multitude of on-line purchases of my e-book.
So, with Mary the editor’s advice in mind, I’d like to introduce Mabel and her brother, Dean. Or half-brother. Dads are part of the mystery in this book. If you’ve read what I’ve posted under Work In Progress on this website, you’ve already met them. But there is not a lot of history included in that first partial chapter, so I can fill in some more of that.
Mabel and Dean grow up in Montreal in the 1980’s, born to a woman named Della and raised in the home of Dr. Grant Garson. Dr. Garson works for an influential and prosperous Irish family, a family flourishing in both legal and illegal activities.
Della works on the illegal side. The fourth of seven children born to Irish immigrants, she saw the McAllister family as a way out of working at her father’s diner for the rest of her life and soon discovers she has a rare talent for conning. And thievery. And evil. She’s very good at evil.
Della isn’t fond of children, especially her own, and has an obvious dislike, bordering on hatred, for Mabel. Dean, who was three when Mabel was born, calls his sister ‘Maybe’, a nickname he picked up while Della was pregnant with Mabel. The reason for the nickname is explained in the first chapter.
Mabel sees very little of her mother up until her tenth birthday, when it is decided by the powers that be that Mabel should learn the family business. Della is designated to show her daughter some of the tricks of the trade, like breaking and entering. Working a con. Hiding a body.
Mabel catches on quick and the family, or what she know of it, seems satisfied with her progress, except for one worry. Mabel has a very, very, bad temper. A temper made worse by her mother’s clandestine tormenting and when her mother’s attentions turn to making Dean’s life a living hell, Mabel finally strikes back and attempts to kill her mother. Mabel believes she succeeds, and she and Dean find themselves on the run.
Fifteen years later, they end up in Sylvandale, a farming community based on Sylvan Valley for those of you reading and are familiar with our locale. Mabel and Dean are feeling safe; free from the family they’ve been running from; free from the mother who survived and is looking for revenge; and, even better, Mabel and Dean are finally on the right side of the law. All is well. Until dead bodies start turning up in their barn. And they start worrying their mother is putting them there.
That’s all for now. I’ve put the book away, again on my editor’s advice, for a few weeks, probably until after Christmas. I need to distance myself so that when I get back to it, I’ll see the story with fresh eyes and be able to fill in any holes or problems with plot. Still a lot of work ahead but I’m looking forward to getting it back out again. Hard for me to leave it alone but I’ll work on some short stories and get them sent out and hopefully published while I’m waiting for my book to ferment.
I may even enter a contest or two. There’s good money in that.