Wednesday, February 1, 2012

From NaNo to Novella

Tomorrow will be an exciting day for me. My third novella will be available at Astraea Press. Aegean Intrigue is a story I began three years ago during GRRWG's first Winter Nano challenge. The previous summer I had gone on a ten-day trip to Greece, where my daughter had gone for a semester abroad to study writing. Of course, I had to check out the school and her living conditions, so I convinced a friend to travel with me to the island of Paros, in the Aegean sea. We went in May, just when the warm spring made the colors vivid and the air balmy and comfortable, but before the summer crowds arrived.
My daughter mentioned something that stuck in my mind. During the day, we would see local women as they went out on their daily tasks. But in the evenings, the only locals we saw were men. The women we encountered in the restaurants and shops had come from other countries. Robyn told me that Greek women were not outgoing toward strangers, and she and her female classmates found it very sad. I came home and did some reading and found several references to that phenomena. What would it be like to live in that culture? I decided to write a story about two people who had been affected by that in different ways. And Aegean Intrigue was the result.
I came up with Francie, who is half Greek. The men on on her father's side of the family are typical overbearing men who expect total obedience from their wives and are yukky. Her mother's parents are French Canadian, and Grand-pere treats his wife with love and respect. And she's gone to school in California, so she has experienced American views on relationships. She's also had a difficult relationship with a Greek man.
Alex is also half Greek. He has seen his mother treated poorly by his father, and vows he will not be the same. But in a past relationship, he's had a woman take advantage of him, so he's also leery about starting a relationship. Besides, Francie is the main suspect in a case he's investigating.
I threw in a bit of a mystery and some archaeology (I don't know how I come up with these professions that require me to delve into a lot of research, but I seem to be a glutton for punishment) and three years later I have a novella. The story doesn't look much like the first draft, but it's done.
So this year I'm going into the Winter Nano challenge with a new story line. Hopefully I'll have enough material to shape into something I'll be able to submit someday. But if not, I'll have bits and pieces I can use elsewhere. The point is, if I don't write something, I won't have anything to use anywhere! So when we meet on the 11th, come with your laptops and ideas and be prepared to write! We'll have food and beverages, and there will be people who will be able to answer questions. But the best way is to just put words down, and ask later.

5 comments:

T L Doezema said...

Congrats! That's inspiring!!

Patricia Kiyono said...

I just got a great surprise! The book is available TODAY!!!

Tess Grant said...

Happy release day!

Stephanie Michels, author said...

Hooray! What a wonderful surprise. I wish you a lot of happy sales! It's a GREAT story! Good luck with the new NANO project.

Andrea Dickinson said...

Congrats, Patty!
Wishing you many sales and five star reviews!