Finished drafting a new…

Finished drafting a new story today, "Birthstones." It's been workshopped in earlier form already, so this is a pretty close to final draft; I rarely do more than two drafts for a short story. I'll do a clean-up pass on Sunday, after I've had a few days to get some distance, and then it's off to the editor who requested it. (Minal Hajratwala, for a queer Indian anthology. I'm not Indian, but my characters are.)

I would like more editors to invite me to write for them, as it is very motivating. And sometimes there are side benefits -- I'd already written a story about this protagonist before, and totally fallen in love with him, and now I had an excuse to write about him again. Suresh Chandran is a detective living in Oak Park, with a broken heart and a secret in his past. I started writing about him mostly as a lark, because Lori (yes, I blame you, Lori) has gotten into writing mysteries lately, and I thought, hey, I love Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and most recently Louise Penny. I would be thrilled to write a story like that. So I wrote a little story, and I liked it. And now, thanks to Minal, I've written another one. Which is where it gets interesting.

Because somewhere in the midst of all that I realized that if I have a contemporary detective story set in Oak Park, it's entirely plausible that Suresh might meet some of the characters from _Bodies in Motion_. That family is from Chicago! And I had vaguely meant the grandparents to end up in Oak Park at some point, though I'm not sure I specified it in the book. Maybe there's a murder in their family, and Suresh is called in to investigate. And it could happen while they're getting ready for a big S. Asian wedding. There would be secrets, from the past, because there were already lots of those in _Bodies in Motion_. And somehow, last night, I found myself starting to plot a mystery novel that would tie in so beautifully to my previous book. And it was very exciting.

Minal and Lori, I blame you. Thanks! :-)

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