She Wore A Pretty Mask is now available on Amazon.
No novel (at least in my experience) is easy to write. Mind you, there are the glorious days when things flow smoothly, when chapters seem to magically write themselves, but there are others (and the odds are in their favor) when it can be a real slog…when no matter how much homework you’ve done, no matter how clearly you can see the images in your head, the images stubbornly resist translation.
Usually the ideas are the easy part. It’s the turning them into a story and putting the words on the page that’s the struggle. The daily goal I set for myself is 1500 words. It isn’t often that I’m able to surpass that quota. But it happens. Sometimes. Rarely. On busy days, I’ll settle for 1000. Not ideal, but I can live with that. Anything less than that…I get cranky. It ruins the rest of the day. I’ve worked on several novels where every sentence is like giving birth to a baby elephant…stop, start, stop, start, repeat, and maybe after half an hour I’ve managed 100 words, and those last 900 to go before I can reach happiness seem to be a million miles away.
That’s the extreme. I usually fall somewhere in the middle. The good days and the bad ones. But I usually make my 1000 to 1500 word quota. It’s really the only way to work. If you start cutting yourself slack, things only tend to get worse.
She Wore A Pretty Mask fell into the mostly good day category. There were struggles, but I managed to find the words. What turned out to be difficult on this one occurred before my fingers ever touched the keys. The idea itself was the roadblock. More specifically, developing the idea was the painstaking part of the process. I let it stew for a while. I knew the idea could work, but that I had to be careful with the execution. One false move and things could go in the crapper.
So, stuck as I was, I did what I often do at times like that – I reached out to my friend Mikko Piekkala. Mig has been a good friend of mine for the last 20 years. There have been times that we’ve fallen out of touch for years at a time, but when we pick up a conversation again, it seems like it’s only been a couple of hours. I told him about my idea, and we batted it around for a while, attacked it from different angles, Mig serving as my sounding board, making suggestions, and usually by the time we’re finished, I’ve decided on the path I want to take.
(Mig – Thanks for that, old friend).
Anyway, I made it. It’s out there. I hope you enjoy it. – JWB
Here’s the blurb:
When evil invades the sleepy little town of Crater Lake, Iowa, a rookie sheriff goes on the hunt for a serial killer who is murdering young girls by staking them through the heart and decapitating them. But that’s not all – before killing them, he first drains their blood.
After enlisting the help of a female FBI profiler, Sheriff Nathan Murphy begins a descent into darkness as the investigation leads them down a trail of the supernatural. They soon discover they may not be dealing with something human at all, for their suspect may be far older and far more dangerous.
The first victim may be the key to unraveling the mystery. A girl whose death doesn’t fit the killer’s M.O. A girl who is pulled out of the lake with a strange mask covering her face.
What is the killer’s connection with the Unknown Girl of the Seine? Are they chasing a serial killer or a vampire? Whichever it is, Nathan knows one thing for certain…they are hunting a monster.