The Evolution of Book #7
There was some concern after PERIL, PLOTS, and PUPPIES came out that the Sleuth Sisters series was finished, and to be honest, I wasn't sure myself. I've said many times that I don't want to write the next book just because. I need a story that I want to tell, because it's very hard work to write a book (at least one people will want to read).
Sister anecdotes can go on forever, of course. There's always fodder for more humor in the way we interact with each other.
Cute animal items are also easy to come up with. The fact that the real-life Styx almost broke my leg last week while trying to tell me he was glad to see me demonstrates that.
Setting can become a problem in a series; call it the Cabot Cove Syndrome. How many murders can a small town expect? I felt that if there was a Book 7, it should take place somewhere else. Series writers will admit that after a few books it's also difficult to get all the secondary characters in if the characters remain in their small town. Readers have their favorites and want to know what's up with (for example) Gabe, Mindy, Rory, Lars, Dale, Cramer, Bill & family, etc. Not to mention all the pets!
And for me, character isn't enough in a mystery. I have to have an intriguing puzzle for the sisters to work on. Sometimes I don't know how it will work out at first, but gradually the plot forms. Writing it down is another matter, and there's the rub. It's NEVER as easy as it seems in my head to get all the pieces in the right place at the right time. The next mystery has begun to spin its web, thanks to a suggestion from my sister (who else?).
The other question I've been asked after PP&P is about Barb's Grammar Nazi role. My husband came up with an idea for that, and I think it will resonate with all those who silently cheered for her as she corrected grammatical mistakes in public places.
All in all, I think Book 7 is a go.
Now all I need is the time to write it.