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A West River Mystery Progress Report

A West River Mystery Progress Report

A West River Mystery progress report is in order, so that’s what you’re getting today. Check out these small things about See Jane Dig! (Book 5) and See Jane Ride! (Book 6) that are making my heart go pitter pat.

  • My editor reported that she’s read most of the See Jane Dig! manuscript. She said it’s not terrible. Whew!
  • See Jane Dig! should be released in October of 2024.
  • The See Jane Ride! plotting workshop with my editor has been moved up to January 29. I had to cancel a vacation and several speaking engagements while waiting for my hip/leg/back issues to resolve. As a result I’m ahead of schedule on research and brainstorming and want to turn recovery time into writing time as well.
  • I started my research by reading Rally Rewind: 75 Years of Sturgis and paying special attention to accounts of details about the 1978 rally. That’s the year when See Jane Ride! takes place, and I want it to be as authentic as possible.
  • Next up was an interview with my cousin who started attending the rally in 1977, an event he and his wife still participate in. He contributed several colorful memories that I can’t wait for Jane to experience too.
  • Monthly calendars for June, July, and August of 1978 have been printed. The rally dates for that year, along with those for the Tipperary County Fair and Jane’s teacher inservice are on the calendar and ready to be consulted during the plotting workshop.
  • Last but not least, you all came through with biker name suggestions. Here’s the complete list: Gunner, Rooster, Sweetie Pie, Tiny, Mouse, Crankshaft, Knucklehead, Loser, Skid, Smoke, Lifter, Flywheel, Flathead, Wanderer, Spoke, Burnout, and last but not least, Stryker the Biker and his sidecar sidekick, Hitch the Hiker.

Which one (or two) do you like best? Leave your favorites in the comment box. That’ll make my heart go pitter pat too.

Do You Want to Help Name a Few Characters?

Do You Want to Help Name a Few Characters?

Do you want to help name a few characters who will appear in an upcoming West River Mystery? To be clear, I’m not talking about See Jane Dig!, the next book in the series which will be released in October of 2024. The characters in Dig! already have names and the first draft of the manuscript is with the editor. What I am talking about is the fifth in the series, See Jane Ride!

I know, it’s confusing. Thank goodness I like working ahead. Here’s the scoop on progress so far:

  • Brainstorming for Book 5, See Jane Ride!, is underway.
  • When brainstorming, ideas matter more than spelling. Be gentle regarding the brainstorming clip above.
  • See Jane Ride! takes place in July of 1978.
  • The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will be woven into the plot. So will a few bikers.
  • Sturgis rallies from the mid-seventies to mid-eighties were in the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands the event now boasts. Tens of thousands are still a lot of people in a town of under 10,000. Believe it or not, rallies were wilder and crazier back then than they are now.
  • Some of those tens of thousands meandered into Harding County when we lived there. A few will wander through Tipperary County in See Jane Ride! also.

You’re invited to suggest names for the bikers who show up in the story. They’ll be big, beefy people (perhaps two men, though a man and a woman would be more interesting.) They’ll wear leathers and bandanas. That’s as far as my imagination will go until the two bikers are named. It’s hard for me to fully envision them until then.

They need names soon so I can write their character studies before meeting with my editor on February 14 to workshop the plot. (In honor of Valentine’s Day, a cherry pie will be in the oven. Dessert is good motivation for any task and the best way to celebrate a holiday.)

So I ask you again, do you want to help name a few characters for Book 5 in the series? If so, you can leave them in the comment section or click the contact button at the top of the page and send your ideas via email by February 1. I can’t wait to read your suggestions!