When I finished writing Blackmail Broker (book 2 in the Edwin Burrows series) I felt I needed a break. I started a new novel, Never Get Caught, about a modern-day bank robbery that brings the main character back to a robbery that changed his own life forever, and not entirely for the good. Roughly halfway through Never Get Caught, I missed Edwin. I missed his voice. I missed his story, his life, the women that kept him (in)sane and true.
So I scrapped Never Get Caught and started writing book 3, Collusion Connoisseur, which picks up after Edwin has moved back home to Portland where he is supposed to be looking after his mother’s affairs but instead prefers to sleep in, play video games and eat chips for breakfast. As I write this, I’m 46,786 words into the 85,000-word manuscript… and I started 2 weeks and 2 days ago. In other words, Edwin’s world is flowing through me.
Edwin’s Big Picture Story
There is only one other series I plan on publishing in 2017, but the one I’m writing about now, these Edwin Burrows Mysteries, is a lot bigger than any given novel. Although I want my novels to be standalone reads, where you can pick up Collusion Connoisseur and enjoy it without having read Alibi Aficionado and Blackmail Broker, Edwin as a character must continue to grow and evolve. With that in mind, each novel in this series adds to the overarching mystery that began in Alibi (we just didn’t know it at the time).
That mysterious element became a little more evident in Blackmail Broker with a detail that was first introduced in Alibi Aficionado. It’s also brought back to the forefront of the story in Collusion Connoisseur. By the time the series winds up (I don’t even know when that will be), this larger mystery will get pieced together using individual pieces of the puzzle that I’ve dropped along the way.
Remember the TV Show Lost?
Each episode in the TV show Lost told a story within that episode, but pieces of the puzzle were apparently exposed in each. As viewers hurtled towards the series finale, that seemingly sub-plot story became the primary topic…and the end was beautiful when we learned that these “survivors” in Lost were actually all dead.
That’s my goal with the Edwin Burrows series. Not to kill everyone or make them dead, but bring out an element of Edwin that we don’t quite see so clearly right now.
In some ways, I’ve tested this in Blackmail Broker (March 2017). This novel starts with Rachel missing, something that is quickly complicated when a client’s school bus is hijacked with 54 student on board. Edwin needs Rachel’s expertise to solve this case. That’s why, before we reach the 25% milestone, Rachel is found and brought home.
By incorporating the resolution of a subplot/problem that was introduced in Alibi (Rachel’s disappearance) in Blackmail, I’ve discovered how I can use little elements throughout the series.
For the keener readers, I’ve come up with a way to play with your imagination a little more. It involves a book box. A few subtle hints as “gifts” within that box. But, alas, I’m getting ahead of myself. More on that later.
In the interim, please remember to leave your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads! And, above all else, thank you for taking the time to read my stories!