Thursday, December 01, 2011

Weekword: Novel (a few notes about my work in progress)

My current tentative Book Cover

The WeekWord this week is novel.  You can join in and play at The Gift Shed Blog.
I haven't been playing along lately because (ta da!) I am working on


Those of you who follow me or visit and read know that I've been participating in NaNoWriMo--National NovelWriting Month.  It's my second year.  

It's a novel NOVEL!

Well, only in the sense that it seems unlikely that anyone else ever wrote this novel, since I'm writing it myself from scratch.  It's so new it's unfinished.  And probably will be for some time to come.

The novel I am working on is tentatively entitled, Death Angel.  It is a mystery novel about mushroom poisoning.
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Before I start talking about my new novel, let me quote one of the novels I am currently reading, A Change in Altitude, by Anita Shreve.  Taking a short break from my work, read a couple pages in the novel and came across this, on page 191:

     "I can't thank you enough," he said, putting his hand on hers for just a moment,  Even his palm was hot.
     "Someone in my debt," Margaret said, "a novel sensation."

Novel here means "new," but more than just new, new and unusual.  One would not say one had a "novel" haircut because it was freshly cut, but because it was unusual or different.

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Jody Shafer
One of the characters in Death Angel

I'm very excited because I "won" the NaNoWriMo 50,000 word rough-draft novel writing challenge.  The absolute truth is, I was never sure I would succeed and the closer it got to the deadline (midnight November 30), the less sure I was I would make it, because I was falling further and further behind.  "Winning" (succeeding) was like being in one of those movies where a come from behind team pulls it together at the 11th hour and wins.  I had almost given up hope.

So here is the new Dust Jack Blurb for my novel.  It needs more work, but it will give you an idea what the novel is about:

111201 Dust Jacket Blurb for my upcoming book, Death Angel

Mycology Professor Colin McHaggerty is well-loved by undergrads, parents, grad students, TAs, faculty and administration, or so it seems to Rune Carmichael when she first returns to the College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry to study for her PhD and work as Dr. McHaggerty’s teaching assistant. Suddenly, Rune’s life revolves around McHaggerty.  The other professors, teaching assistants and even her own research project seem to take a back seat to the all-encompassing McHaggerty.  When McHaggerty and one of the TAs end up in the hospital with mushroom poisoning, Rune refuses to believe the poisoning was “a terrible accident.” She recognizes that McHaggerty knows better than to poison himself and his assistant.  But when she begins poking around to find out what really happened to Dr. McHaggerty, she and her teammate Bart get Psychedelic mushrooms on their pizza, showing them how easy a poisoning could be, letting them know they could be next.  Someone smashes into Rune on her motorcycle—hit and run. And warnings continue to come. Rune and Bart persist in looking.  They discover that the well-loved McHaggerty has many enemies and that the college is rife with unsuspected excitement and sordid intrigue.  Rune’s trust, damaged by abuse and an ongoing divorce, is further damaged by what she learns about McHaggerty and others at the college, but receives a boost from Silas, a lucky witness and from Bart, who, in spite of the danger, joins her in the search for an attempted murderer. Though the police refuse to help, Rune continues searching, never imagining that she might also find the answer to a 13-year-old quadruple murder.

I've been posted about my novel here, on No Polar Coordinates, and also at my NaNoWriMo site, where all the posts are collected in one spot together.


John said...

Well done Mary!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks, John!!!! :-D

sowandsew said...

Fantastic! I'm impressed and inspired!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks so much, sowandsew!!!!!! I appreciate your kind words.