A few years ago I had an idea for a book. I’d never written a novel, although I’d been a writer for most of my professional career. I wrote—and still do from time to time— scintillating technical training material for the high-tech industry. Well, not that scintillating.
The idea I had for the novel was to write a murder mystery that was set in a glassblowing studio, often called a “hot shop” by people who work in glass. As a glass beadmaker, I’d spent some time in hot shops, although making glass beads doesn’t require the large-scale furnaces required to create vases and sculptures.
The plot that developed in my mind just kept growing. These book ideas simply would not fade. Character names, humorous scenes, interesting settings, and even creative ways to kill fictional people all rattled around in my brain. Write fiction? I’d never really considered it. Yes, I loved reading. Yes, I was a word geek. Who else but a word geek would get an advanced degree in Linguistics?
In the months before I wrote my first novel, several other plots all featuring the same quirky cast of characters, continued to form in my mind. I diligently wrote them all down. I still have those notes, and refer to them from time to time.
In the end, I decided to start with a different story than the one that takes place in the hot shop. In the fall of 2012, I wrote High Strung during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It takes place in a bead shop in Seattle. When I finished, I knew I was hooked. I loved the exhausting process of writing fiction. That same autumn, I wrote A Bead in the Hand, in which Jax and Tessa go to a bead bazaar at a funky old hotel in Portland, Oregon.
Today is the official release day for Off the Beadin’ Path, Book Three in the Glass Bead Mystery Series! I have finished writing the story that in my mind was the start of the series and my career as a novelist. I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Off the Beadin’ Path. The links to the websites where you can purchase it are the bottom of the post.
And me? I’m going to spend the day making glass beads. I could use a break from staring at words on my laptop screen. And next month I’ll start working on To Bead or Not to Bead, Book Four in the Glass Bead Mystery Series. It’s waiting for me and I’m ready for it.