Barb here. It’s that time of year again, when the Wickeds scamper off to Old Orchard Beach for our annual retreat. Hard to believe it is our fifth one! Each of the retreats has had a different personality. On the first one there were just four of us–Edith, Liz, Jessie and me–and we wrote like crazy. We all had first-in-series books due, and the question weighing on each of us was, could we write commercial-quality mystery fiction on a deadline? None of us had ever done that before.
By the next year Sherry and Julie had joined us, and the talk was all about marketing. The subtitle for the retreat could have been, “I’ve written a book. What happens now?”
This year promises to be a mix of things. Several of us are writing the last contracted book in a series, so brainstorming about our proposals for the next books in the series, and about other projects will be a big feature. And, of course, writing and industry gossip.
Wickeds, what will you be working on at this year’s retreat?
Sherry: I can’t wait to see everyone! Someone always seems to be in book jail but it’s not me this year. I’m going to be working on book five in the Sarah Winston Yard Sale series — I Know What You Bid Last Summer. I only have some general ideas about what the book is about. I know how it opens so I’m looking forward to talking the story out with the Wickeds and having a good solid plot by Sunday.
Liz: I’m not in book jail either – yay!! I’m going to be diving into book six in the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries, the holiday book. So while we will be enjoying the beach, I’ll be writing about…snowstorms. Yep. But looking forward to getting some Wicked input on the plot and getting inspired. Also want to work on revisions for another project – which I hope you’ll all hear more about sooner rather than later.
Jessie: I am working away on my next Change of Fortune mystery. It’s set in Old Orchard so I’m looking forward to being inspired by the setting. There is just something about the beach that gets my fingers flying across the keyboard! Having the Wickeds around for inspiration doesn’t hurt either!
Julie: I am in the home stretch of book #3 of my series, so editing Chime and Punishment is on the docket. I’ll also be working on blog posts for Clock and Dagger, which is coming out August 2. Maybe some brainstorming is in order as well.
Edith: I am smack in the middle of Turning the Tide, Quaker Midwife Mystery #3. So far it’s going well, but ya never can tell in the middle of a first draft. It’s the last one under contract for the series, so I’ll also be bouncing ideas for three more Rose Carroll stories off the Wickeds. As well as soaking up wise and fun companionship along with ocean breezes and sand under my toes! Can. Not. Wait. (And by the time most readers see this, I’ll already be at Jessie’s fabulous cottage just blocks from the shore.)
Barb: The synopsis for Book 6 in the Maine Clambake Mystery series is due the week after the retreat, so you know what I’ll be working on. My editor and I mutually agreed to scrap the original book six from my proposal, so at the beginning of the month, I really was staring at a blank page. Now I have a mystery (I think), but there are lots of other important bits missing, such as what’s going on in Julia’s personal life and –oh, by the way–what is the title? I had titles for all five previous books before I had stories, so it feels really weird not to have one. I hope to get some help on the retreat with all of this.
Readers, what are your plans this fabulous weekend?