In the Mind's Eye

In grade twelve art I painted a castle in the sky for my final project. I worked from a photograph of Neuschwanstein Castle, which I knew from one of my favourite childhood movies, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I used a technique I had learned the year before, of building the picture up in layers of oil glazes over a black and white oil drawing.

It took me weeks of class and after school time because each glaze had to set before you could add the next.

I knew what I wanted to achieve. I had a clear picture of my finished painting in my mind's eye. But I was never happy with it, even though I got good marks for the project. I ended up giving it to a friend who loved it.

Deadly Legacy (Imajin Books, 2015) was like that for me. It took me years to get the layers of the background and character laid and another year or so to write the book when I finally had a workable mystery plot. I could picture exactly what I wanted to achieve. I was never entirely happy with it, but other people loved it.

With Under A Texas Star and Deadly Legacy, I wrote in third person because I was told I wouldn't get published otherwise. By the time I learned my mistake, the books were written. In the case of Under A Texas Star, a standalone historical western romance, no worries. In the case of Deadly Legacy, a mystery I hoped to make a series, big trouble.

Deadly Season was written in first person and, if health problems hadn't slowed me down, Deadly Games would have been in first person as well. (I have to write Deadly Games someday, it was the first Carmedy and Garrett story I conceived but it needed a lead-up.) Now I have the chance to bring Deadly Legacy inline with my vision. I just have to rewrite the book.

Turning a third person crime novel, with alternating points of view, into a first person mystery isn't easy. I can't just delete Jake's pages. I have incorporate the clues he gathers with what Kate uncovers. As I work on it, I thought I'd share my journey (and missteps) with you. It's just like a "Build" video series without a physical thing getting built and in a blog.

About that painting. A year or so later, I was visiting my friend at her family home and saw my painting hanging in the living room. It looked pretty good.