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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Old Year's Resolutions

I'd like to focus for a moment on one goal for 2012 that I actually achieved. I had promised myself I would complete the first draft of MAGGIE RISING, my first attempt into paranormal detective Y.A. Maggie was there with her psychic reading business and her friend, Lauren, who just happens to be a ghost, and her problems with the law. She just needed me to get busy.

I did. And I finished the last line of that first draft on the last day of last year. That leads me into one of my first goals for 2013: to get Maggie and her paranormal friends off to my agent. The book has been out to six great alpha readers who have given me all kinds of helpful comment. I've been revising, tightening, editing and clarifying. The book will be office to my agent this week.
To give some sense of what Maggie and Lauren have been up to, here's an excerpt from the first time they chat in one of Maggie's dreams:

I stood in the Children’s Playground next to Bidwell Presbyterian. ...

I looked around, wondering how I’d gotten here and why I’d come. That’s when I noticed a pretty blonde girl watching me. She was leaning on the uprights for the swings, but as I looked her way she separated herself from the contraption and walked toward me. She looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her. I looked behind me to see if maybe her focus was actually directed elsewhere, but we were alone. As she came toward me, she gave a half-smile and asked, “Remember me?”

“You look familiar,” I answered, searching my memory.

“Lauren Hall,” she said. “I was in the high school class just younger than you, but at Chico High instead of Pleasant Valley.”

“Lauren Hall?” I didn’t yet remember her from high school, but I certainly remembered the name. “The missing Homecoming Queen?”

“The murdered Homecoming Queen,” she answered. “I met my murderer right here in Children’s Park during lunch last Wednesday.”

I swallowed, unsure how to speak to a murdered girl, let alone a murdered Homecoming Queen. “So…you’re dead?”

She rolled her eyes. “And everybody said you were smart.” She plunked down on the bench a little way from me. For a ghost, she seemed to have substantial mass, since it gave under her weight. “Do you want to help me out or what?”

I've had a good time working with Maggie and Lauren and I'm eager to see what happens with them next. I'll keep you posted.

Susan Aylworth's first eight novels are available as e-books for Kindle (Amazon), Nook (Barnes and Noble) and other e-readers or computers (Smashwords). Her ninth, A SECRET FAMILY RECIPE, is due out from Covenant Communications in June.