I have a lot of projects in play at all times. Someone said, “oh, you are so talented to juggle multiple projects.” The truth is I have the attention span of a gnat…and that writing projects are not linear things. Sometimes the research takes time. You have peaks and valleys of activity on a project. It only makes sense to have a few irons in the fire.
In the next month I will finish my first true crime book. Technically the book is done, I’m simply putting polish to it at this point. I am quite proud of this book because I feel I have not only captured what happened, but I’m filling in many gaps that the investigators did not have access to. Even people who thought they knew about the crime (the bombing murder of Nola Puyear) will be surprised when they read this book.
A long-term pet project of mine is my Bert Hall book. Bert was the bad-boy of the Lafayette Escadrille. While a founding member, he was the only one I’ve found that was asked to leave. Bert’s story is a neat one but is complicated by the fact that he was a braggart and outright liar. His two autobiographies are a mix of fact, fiction and outright fantasy. This forces me to do some serious digging with primary archival sources to get as close to the truth as possible. This book is so much fun to research because of the challenge, I’m not in any rush to complete it. Every time I think I’m ready to start putting it to paper, another chunk of material surfaces.
I have a Cuban missile crisis project that I have started. I am awaiting a Freedom of Information Act request to be fulfilled before I can jump too far forward. This is one of those projects that suddenly can get a massive burst of activity – if the National Archives can get some material declassified for me. Yes, the Cuban missile crisis has a lot of books out on it – I am aware of that. This book however is (hopefully) going to break some new ground on the subject.
I have another true crime project that will be kicking off in the next month or so. Working title for this is A Special Kind of Evil. This is a 1963 murder in Michigan that I came across that intrigued the heck out of me. This one is a little different in that the case was never technically solved. There’s a lot to this story – suffice it to say I’m excited about it. Since I have a publisher with an expressed interest in this book it will likely move to the top of the heap quickly. I am looking forward to a big juicy box of documentation from the Michigan State Police archives which will serve as the core of the work I have to do on this project.
I am also working on a Steampunk novel idea. I need a little fiction every now and then to activate the proper cells in my brain working. I like Steampunk fiction…it is the new emerging fantasy genre and I want to at least try to write a book aimed at that market.
On the backburner are three other books in addition to this list! Some of these are already primed and ready for me to put some time into them – while others are ideas that are percolating. Aside from books I am working on two short stories for BattleCorps.com and an article I’d like to write for Over the Front.
As you can see, my nights and weekends are going to be booked for some time to come…and I couldn’t be happier.