The Way of the Word

23. January 2011

Novel in Progress: Shaw Returns!

Who is Shaw, you ask, and where does he return from? You might want to check those links on the right and click on the one for The Coldest Blood.

Shaw is my hardboiled PI character, the protagonist of my hardboiled mystery The Coldest Blood. If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out on something. Don’t take my word for it, I’m biased, buy a download, read it and see for yourself.

When I’m out by myself, I think about how to kill people. It’s inevitable, and you’re lucky that I’m more of a mystery writer than a psychopath. When I think about how to kill people, it usually ends up on paper. Or at least a .DOC file.

Yesterday, that was combined with something that had been making news here in Hamburg recently. I’ll talk about that in a future blog post. That news event is a tragedy, but even so, it makes no sense that it keeps me occupied, because I don’t know the people involved, I don’t know the business they’re in, I don’t know anything about them. Except where they live, five minutes’ walk from where I live. But that in and of itself shouldn’t influence my thoughts in any way.

I decided to take those thoughts and exorcise them in the best way that I know how to do: by writing about them. And since there is an interesting mystery thriller hiding in that tragedy (actually, there isn’t, unless you let your thoughts drift in regards to how to kill people, then you add one and one and get a homicide… Never mind), I decided to turn it into a mystery novel.

Re-enter Shaw. He was supposed to be my Mike Hammer, he was supposed to establish me as the next Mickey Spillane.

Except, he didn’t. Instead, the lack of interest he generated in everyone he met crushed down all my aspirations towards a profitable writing career. I had resolved to discard the notes I had for future Shaw novels and never return to his dark adventures.

But. I like writing Shaw, I’m comfortable with his supporting cast of homicide Detective Robert Weaver, Christie the hacker, Paul Pogue the information broker.¬† Also, I’m lazy, and I thought that if I write another mystery novel, why not revisit Shaw and his friends instead of creating all new characters from scratch.

So here you go. Shaw will return, solving a crime that will take him into the depths of the porn industry. I’ll tell you more about that in future posts.

As soon as I have a title.


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