I tried to spend a little time over the holidays working on Book 4, tentatively called, Umbrella Man. It’s going to involve an attempt on Raul Castro’s life and the arrival of the Russian mafia in all things Cuban (something that actually could happen when the Castro regime ends — the Russiani mafia is all over Florida now, apparently).
I wanted to see if I could write a real thriller, not just a police procedural. What I realized is that it takes a pile of research to understand the politics of this stuff well enough to pull it off. I found myself examining photographs of Russian mafia tattoos; reading all about the various assassinations of journalists in Russia who dared to criticize Putin, and trying to wrap my head around the Chechen wars. It was all fascinating in a John Le Carre-novel-kind-of-way, but terrifying at the same time. Which I guess is good if I can find a way to convey that to readers: the hard part now is figuring out the journey I want to take them on.
I have learned with certainty that I am not someone who can outline a plot ahead of time. I honestly tried, but as soon as I started writing, the characters took over and dragged me to where they wanted to go, which was quite different. I can see that this book is going to involve a lot of coaxing on both sides. Wish me luck.
I am off to my day job shortly (I am sitting at home waiting for a furnace man to drop by first; yes, it’s winter — my house is covered with giant icicles and looks very much like a popsicle, which is the next maintenance issue I have to address).
I am really looking forward to seeing my fellow realtors — I work in a wonderful office and as nice as it’s been to have almost two full weeks off (my first in years), I can’t wait to see everyone and catch up.
2012 was exciting but she could be a real bitch at times, and I can’t say I’m sorry to see her go. Here’s to a more reliable, steady year — given some of the horrific events that we saw in 2012, I think we could all benefit from a little less excitement, except, of course, in our thrillers.