Tag Archives: characters


(Divine Comedy reference!)

So the Newtonberg trilogy has come to an end. Well, one particular story arc at any rate.  What’s next?

Short answer: I’m in the “research stage.”

Long answer: I’m mulling over an idea, originally conceived about fifteen years ago, that I think is promising. It’s not set in Newtonberg, but it will tie into the series.

In the meantime, I have a lot of work to do. It’s another historical tale, so I have a lot of research to do on the time period. And I’ll have a whole new town to create, and a completely new set of characters to populate it.

I won’t say anymore so as not to ruin any surprises.

I sincerely hope you read and enjoyed Back to Newtonberg. And I hope you’ll enjoy what happens next.


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That’s Just About Right…

(Title courtesy of Blackhawk)

Well, I finished the first draft of book three today at 10:49 am. It is 18,604 words, nine chapters and 111 pages. This places it right in between Welcome to Newtonberg and All That Remains in terms of length.

At the moment, the book still bears the title Back to Newtonberg, and I think it might keep that title. What started as a matter of convenience as a working title started to take on a new meaning as the book progressed.

So what’s it about? Well, it pretty much picks up the modern characters from Welcome to Newtonberg and some of their storylines, and throws a few new ones into the mix (including one major new character who is currently my favorite). Then it takes a bit from All That Remains (readers who were disappointed that Maggie and Billy’s relationship didn’t have a proper resolution should be pleased) and ties it all together.

I really like this book (don’t all authors say that about the book they just finished?). I especially like the chemistry between the new character, Mike and Janet. I hope you will, too.

One more editing session this week, then I’ll set it aside until July. Then I’ll read it over again, make any changes and release it to my beta readers for feedback.

More to come. Thanks for being patient, and I hope you’ll enjoy Back to Newtonberg once it gets released this fall!

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(Amanda Jenssen reference in the title!)

I know. It’s been awhile.

The title of this post is pretty appropriate. I’ve been on autopilot this month. I’ve just about completed researching and outlining the next book, and I plan to start writing it next week. After all, isn’t November “National Novel Writing Month”? (I think I might have heard something about that somewhere.)

And while I’m fairly certain I won’t be putting 50,000 words to the page during the next month, I should have a pretty good start by the time it’s over.

I’m excited about the new book.  It will introduce at least one new character who will serve as a bridge between Welcome to Newtonberg and All That Remains. The book itself will tie up a few loose ends from both books and set up the next books.  (And once again, I’m into book four before I’ve finished writing book three.)

No official title yet, but I’m working with the Back To Newtonberg, which is really original, don’t ya think? I’m sure that as characters and themes begin to reveal themselves to me that the title will change. After all, All That Remains was titled “A Tear for Billy” for twenty years. Who knows what “Back to Newtonberg” will become?

I read an interesting comment on a blog (it might have either been Michelle Proulx‘s or Jennifer Bresnick’s) that mentioned having trouble making a story work out because you made the wrong character the focus of the story.  It seems to me that’s what happened with All That Remains.  During the Billy years, the main character was named Jewel, and Maggie was nowhere to be found.  When I finally made Maggie the main character and Jewel moved off to the side, it all came together. I hope I don’t go through that with Back to Newtonberg.

In other news, I am waiting patiently for the results of the “Shelf Unbound” Writing Competition for Best Self-Published Book. I should know something this weekend. Whether or not I win or even place in the top five, it’s been a fun experience. And fun is what writing is supposed to be about, isn’t it? Fun for the writer, which translates into a fun experience for the reader.

Next week: Contest results.

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Filed under All That Remains, Notes from the Author

All That Remains…

At 12:22 today, I finished the first draft of my new book. It is 18,463 words, 105 printed pages, and is tentatively titled All That Remains: a Newtonberg Story.

The book has undergone many changes since I first announced it. While it is still one continuous story, the setting has been changed from the 1960s to just after World War II, and concerns one of the Newtonberg residents when she was a young girl.  You will see a few of your favorite characters from Welcome to Newtonberg in the bookend story, but for the most part, this is historical.

What’s more, it’s a total rewrite of the first Newtonberg story ever, previously titled “A Tear For Billy.” And by total, I mean totally unrecognizable. Anyone unfortunate enough to have suffered through that one in its original form (I apologize, again) might recognize a name or two, but there are actual characters this time around.

I’m quite happy with it, although I know that will fade when I go to do the first edit in a few weeks.  But for now, I will happily let it rest until Memorial Day weekend, when I will take out a printed copy and attack it with red ink.

Thanks to all who have kept me going with their encouraging words.  I hope to have it available for everyone to enjoy this fall.

Now onto the technical stuff.  I need a book cover!


Filed under All That Remains, Notes from the Author

Hold the Line

Just a quick update to let you know that:

  1. Yes, I have started writing the new book;
  2. This one is a single continuous story, rather than short stories; and
  3. It’s a flashback story, set in the early 1960s.  So very few current characters are involved, except briefly in a wrap-around story and some current characters that are old enough to have been alive then are seen as younger versions of themselves.

So this is a new experience for me.  The research has been interesting, and I am moving along, although at a slower pace than I anticipated.  I haven’t yet reached the stage of being able to “write first, fix it later.”  I want to make sure my details are accurate when I’m actually writing it, so I get sidetracked.

Still, at least it’s a step in the right direction.

When it’s finished, I intend to release it in the same manner as Welcome to Newtonberg, (through Smashwords, Amazon, and CreateSpace) although I do hope to have the print and eBook versions available at the same time.

Back to the writing table…

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