Thursday, January 25, 2007

An Author's Cut

Vicki here.

I got the welcome news this week that Poisoned Pen Press will be publishing my new novel, Test Case, in October. This book is a dramatic departure from what I’ve done before. Scare the Light Away, and Burden of Memory were both set in rural Northern Ontario; they were standalone psychological suspense novels with a strong back story and flashbacks to World War II. Test Case is a modern police procedural, first in a series, set in a fictional small town in the interior of B.C. My editor at Poisoned Pen, Barbara Peters (also Charles’s editor as he mentioned) thought I was in danger of getting typecast into the psychological suspense/historical influence genre.

Those of you who have been reading this blog since the beginning will not be surprised to learn that there is a bike theft subplot in the new book.

Only one problem: Barbara wants me to cut about 10 – 15,000 words from the manuscript. That’s a lot. I have been thinking about what can go. To begin, some of the background noise and description probably. I tend to write a lot about food. What do you think that says about me? I guess I’ll have to cut out some of the food references. But so all this writing effort is not lost, here follows an author’s cut of a book, sort of like a director’s cut of a movie, where you get to see scenes that were considered not good enough to go in the main release,.

They ordered General Tso Chicken, beef with snow peas, and spicy shrimp with piles of rice.

She’d chosen the poached wild salmon; he’d wanted the fillet mignon but at 40 bucks a pop it was too much, so he settled for a T-bone.

“I’m going to have the pate followed by lamb shanks.”

His pate arrived. Pink and plump served with perfectly browned toast points.

The remains of three quiches and a huge spinach salad from Michael, along with bread from Alphonse’s, a crockpot of steaming meatballs provided by Ruth, plates of cheese and crackers, and a chocolate cake, sat in the middle of the table.

She would have loved a steak, rare, with a baked potato piled high with sour cream, but she had a twelve-hour shift ahead of her, and a meal like that would have her asleep on her feet. She ordered a spinach salad. Meredith went for the salmon.

Smith took a deep breath, wishing she hadn’t had quite such a large breakfast. A warm croissant or seeded roll straight from the oven would be heaven.

I think it’s time for lunch.

But before I go, I’m going to do a lot of U.S. promotion for the book. Any and all tips on where to go and what to do would be appreciated.

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