Been a while, but I've had a few changes with the current book/Coercion.
To begin with, Coercion is going to be released. I just don't know when. I've got an artist close to me who needs to finish school first. I'm not happy about it, but I'm willing to wait because I know the quality will be good and the price I'm paying for the work is comparable to what I would pay otherwise. School ends in a couple weeks so I'm hoping--hoping--that everything will be ready by June 1. No guarantees, but that seems like a viable timetable, given everything going on. The extra time might be a good thing in the long run just because it allows me more time to fine-tune a couple of things. Will I get everything right in the final analysis? I doubt it, but I'm going to give it my best shot.
The basic idea for the book, which was posted on my Twitter feed, goes like this: A corrupt homicide detective and a low-rent Russian mobster using everyone--and each other--to get their hands on a major score to escape the situations they're in. It runs a little more complicated, but that's the basic crux of the whole idea.
As for my next book, which remains untitled, it has gone through a bit of a torturous journey. The book is a crime novel and is set in the same Oak Villa universe. The first attempt got to about 150 pages and it wasn't bad writing, I don't think, but it was too stretched out. Too many characters and not enough story. I liked the basic idea, but it needed to be simplified for the sake of my story and the good characters trying to make their voices heard. So I started over with a simplified concept and on some level it is similar to my first book, Coercion, but it has undertones of the great George V. Higgins novel, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, where cops and criminals are just trying to scrape by and make a living since that's generally true for people in the world, legit or not. The basic elements involve Irish mobsters looking to make money in a gun trade with a gang that has a major drug connect, even though drugs are taboo with the Irish, especially since a number of gangsters have been busted for RICO, and then there's an organized crime cop, under pressure from his political boss to make arrests and not cases, who has an informant who stumbles onto the connect and he sees a chance to appease his boss and maybe get him promoted so he doesn't work in organized crime anymore.
That's the basic crux and I've got, maybe, a third or so of it done. It should be about the same length, I'm guessing, as Coercion, which is about 330 pages. I don't like to predict that kind of thing because I tend to be wrong, but that's a decent guess.
Until next time...