While walking the dogs the other morning, I realised, as they disappeared into the woods chasing yet another
squirrel, that I was smiling. It was before seven in the morning, there was no one else around, and I was smiling. I was happy to see them bouncing around playing with each other, and racing each other to the latest tree providing refuge for the poor old squirrels. When I thought about it, I realised that I usually smile when I’m walking the dogs, and that the day before it had been pointed out that I was frowning while I was writing. Although, my husband had in the past pointed out that I was smiling as I typed. Perhaps not true all the time, but even when struggling with a plot-line, I may not have been smiling, but writing didn’t make me frown. But it had been recently.
Progress on the latest Meredith & Hodge has been slow to say the least. I had the basis of the story from one I wrote many years ago, and with a little tweak I had one of my main characters with Ben Jacobs, (who is a favourite character of mine). I had updated it, tweaked it, and woven in Meredith & Hodge, but still something wasn’t working. It was two chapters forward and one back, as I struggled find that key element that keeps my fingers on the key board. In the end I gave up and started work on other projects. They are coming along, but, yet again, something is missing, and I type with a frown.
Then, yesterday, for no particular reason, I checked the reviews on my back-list, and I was delighted to see that
in America I had received three great reviews on Misplaced Loyalty – as with children, I’m not sure authors are supposed to have favourites, but if I had to choose, Misplaced Loyalty would be it. The one that gave me Meredith & Hodge, and the one that caused me the most grief and embarrassment – but I digress. One of those reviews made me realise that one way or another, I needed to get back to Meredith & Hodge. In my writing life I was missing them. So, I re-opened the Ben Jacobs story to see if it was possible to salvage something, and while my husband shouted at the football on the television, I re-read what I had. Making notes in red, adding scenes, and deleting huge sections. I drafted out a couple of chapters that were needed, and worked out a few plot issues, and from nowhere the title jumped out at me. Mistaken Beliefs. I liked it. I Googled it, and found that it had not been used for any other novels, and its meaning within law fitted the story perfectly. I was smiling again, and my fingers were flying over the keyboard.
But then I went to bed. I tossed and turned as I thought about bringing it all together. It wasn’t exciting enough, there was no real twist, it was simply a ‘we all know ‘whodunit’, and it’s only a matter of time before Meredith works that out’. Not good enough. I was probably frowning as I fell asleep.
This morning I walked the dogs as usual, their minds full of squirrels, mine full of Meredith & Hodge, and the twist I needed arrived out of the blue. So, I’m back at it. The latest Meredith & Hodge, probably to be called, Mistaken Beliefs, is underway, and I smile as I type.
This is the review that gave me the push I needed, so thank you, ZB! This proves without a doubt, if indeed proof were needed, that reviews are invaluable to the author:
Biggest shock of my year:
I grew up in the country and also had a voracious appetite for reading. So I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. I freely admit that ‘who done it’s’ have always been my least favorite read. Having said all that, this book destroyed my sleep patterns. I couldn’t put it down and anytime there was a minute, and I mean that literally I read while cooking dinner lol, I had this book in my hands. Fantastic depth of characters. Even the characters who weren’t in the lead of hero and heroine were meaty,3-D, making it more difficult to figure out who done it. Nice plot twists and humor and romance too. So trust a non who done it reader when she says this is an amazing read!
I’ve dotted this post with some of what makes me smile. I’m not a great photographer (an understatement) but I hope you like them. Another walk is due now, I’ll be smiling, and straight back at it when we get home!