The other day I walked around my old Memphis, Tennessee neighborhood of Orange Mound to take in sights both familiar and foreign, get a sense of the nabe’s current vibe, and do a teeny tiny bit of research on my second novel, tentatively titled BEAUTIFUL.
Second novel? you say. But the first one hasn’t even been released yet!
I know, Dear Readers, I know. GUESTLIST isn’t even out yet and I’m already talking about what I’m doing next. But hey, that’s how you stay ahead of the game. Gotta be forward thinking. Can’t be stagnant. Can’t rest on one’s laurels.
Anyway, back to BEAUTIFUL. The story revolves drug dealers, crooked cops, and the unsavory criminal underground of Memphis, and it’s mostly set in Orange Mound. Though I grew up in the area, I’ve been gone for so long, I no longer have my finger on the pulse of my neighborhood or hometown. So, in my brief visits home, I have to observe and absorb as much as I can. One thing I try to achieve in all my writing is a sense of authenticity.
Just so you know, BEAUTIFUL is coming along quite nicely. In fact, the first draft is already done. It needs a bit of restructuring, revising, and character development, but so far I’m pleased with where I am on the project. If all goes well, BEAUTIFUL should be available by early 2013.
In the meantime, I will keep working on it, and hopefully I’ll be making more trips to Memphis in 2012 to conduct more research. Although it’s taken me a few years to truly realize or even see it, my hometown of Memphis is, indeed, BEAUTIFUL.