Around the first of the year I started writing a new novel set in the L.A. Stories universe. I’ve referred to this before, because I’ve had it in mind for quite a while; it’s a story about some of my existing characters - and some new ones - making a movie. The movie is framed around the production of a stage play. So it’s a play inside a movie inside a book. #Complexicated.
I made things worse for myself by writing a long introduction of two new characters. My idea was that these two would provide a romance through-story for the novel, and their story came together well. It did not show to best advantage as part of the novel. The moviemaking story was carried by two of my established characters, with their partners, friends, and colleagues playing supporting roles; the romance story just got lost.
So, thanks to my pull-no-punches beta reader, the romance story was wrenched out of the novel almost in toto and has since become a nearly-complete novella. It still refers to the moviemaking story, because the hero of that novella is one of the co-stars of the movie. It is now, however, more simply and more logically a love story.
Along the way with all this, I started writing a separate thing that also refers to the moviemaking story and is also a novel, but is - like FACE THE MUSIC - predominantly about a relationship. I’m about 2/3 of the way through that and it’s holding up well.
To make matters even crazier, I’ve been working on a new edition of MILLION DOLLAR DEATH. The protagonists of that book, Tanith Salazar and Sid Palacio, play large roles in the work-in-progress moviemaking novel. I wanted to expand on their love story, because at this point it’s clear that the L.A. Stories are first and foremost love stories.
And that’s not all! There are two more novels in the works, and another novella about 2/3 done that links to one of those work-in-progress novels. I don’t know where this is all coming from, but suffice to say that I plan to have two new novellas published before April, and there should be a new-edition novel and a brand-new novel released by late spring.