I haven't posted any status updates in a while, for those who might want to know what's going in the world of J.R. McLemore. Let me appease those few people now. If you recall, I posted a while back a list of projects I was working on. Well, that list has changed.
I'll get to the changes in a moment, but first, let me assure you that The Old Royal is still slowly marching its way toward publication. It is currently in the hands of a third beta reader and I am anxiously awaiting feedback. Hopefully, there will not be any major changes needed. I'll review the feedback, make the necessary edits, and hand it over to a fourth beta reader. When I receive the story back from that last reader, I will go over it one final time and then publish it. I know this sounds like a lot of beta reading, but I want it to be the best story I can deliver and I feel that having more people look at it and point out faux pas for me to address is the best way to ensure a quality story.
In that previous post mentioned above, I said I had a southern Gothic book called Lathem's Lament that I needed to edit. This has not changed. Nor, I am sad to admit, have I done any editing on this story. I promise, though, I will. My thought was to release Lathem's Lament simultaneously with another book, which I will mention in a moment. Since Lathem's Lament is not crime fiction, I was hesitant to release it separately. I thought it would be better received if it was released along with a crime story for those readers who don't care to read southern Gothic. We'll see what happens closer to the release date. Maybe I'll release it separately, maybe not.
And now for the change. But, first, let me be open here and confess that I tend to flip-flop between projects. I will get excited by a story idea before I finish outlining it, only to start writing prematurely. Once I realize that the story needs more time to mature, I abandon it with the intention of returning to it later. I've done a lot of flip-flopping during the previous months. I finally settled on a story called Carniville that has been lurking in my Story Ideas file for a while now.
I turned the plot over and over, filling in obvious plot holes and sketched a cast of characters that I felt comfortable with. I pitched the idea to friends who provided enthusiastic feedback and, after feeling comfortable with the notes and outlines I've made, decided to proceed. Carniville is a locked-room mystery. It is the story of a murder that takes place at a small apartment complex in Florida where sideshow freaks live when they are not touring the carnival circuit. When the fat lady is murdered in her apartment, and her husband becomes the prime suspect, a resident name Blake feels obligated to expose the real killer in order to clear the husband's name.
I'm not very deep into the story--only about 50 written pages so far--and I am very excited by what I currently have. I've never written a mystery, especially a locked-room mystery, so this is a real challenge for me. I feel that it's coming along very nicely. In fact, I'm so excited about it, I've already developed the cover, which I've included below. I welcome any and all feedback regarding the cover and what you think of my short synopsis. Does it pique your interest? I hope so. Also, I hope you'll stick around to read it and The Old Royal when I publish them. Thanks for dropping by!