Working On It, Boss

Working Cover Files
If you keep up with my adventures, you know I was conflicted about a sixth Sleuth Sisters book. I do NOT want to be the author who stretches a series beyond logic, and I feel strongly that if I'm not interested in the plot, my readers won't be either.
That was reinforced this past week as I read a book by one of my favorite authors, who has a long-running series I've always liked. The new story was beyond belief, with the detective getting naked in front of a crowd of people to force a confrontation that made very little sense and wasn't believable, at least for me. I never want the Maggie Pill name attached to a book just to have a new one out there.
With that said, I found myself interested in the sisters again somewhere in August, and the questions began. What if Barb is caught, or almost caught, doing her Grammar Nazi thing? What if it's because there's a murder nearby, so the Nazi is a suspect? That was the germ of the idea for Book 6.
Then I asked myself what the other sisters might be doing that would interest me and my readers. For Faye the answer was easy: helping animals. I began researching puppy mills by talking to people at several animal shelters in northern Michigan. There: a sub-plot! That left Retta, and her concern in the book became something many of us face in our fifties, when we start to really understand what aging is and how we're treated differently because of it. How would Retta feel if someone younger and cuter took the spotlight, leaving her in the shadows?
So we have the Sleuth Sisters' signature ingredients: a murder, some family conflict, and dogs. If that sounds like a book, well, it's becoming one. It takes repeated reads and edits, sometimes by myself, sometimes with the help of wonderful beta readers, to make sure what I think is happening in a story is clear to the reader. So that's what I'm working on, and this week I got the cover, which always inspires me to keep going. The Sleuth Sisters will power on, and of course they'll prevail, because--Sister Power!


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