As you’ve no doubt guessed, the craziness of the past few weeks has wreaked havoc on my schedule. So while Dan and Chris’ story still is coming, it’s not coming April 29. Breaking news, a generally high level of work insanity and a nasty cold have all combined to throw my writing schedule completely off track. I’m hoping to have an update by mid-week with a new release date.
It’s been so busy, in fact, that I never formally announced the latest Exeter release, the ebook-only “We Are Exeter.” It’s a collection of short profiles of all the characters, drawn from the pages of the Exeter Ledger. (That means, of course, no profile of Exeter Ledger editor CJ Jenkins. But he’s got a few comments at the beginning. If you like reading tea leaves, you might get some clues about future Exeter stories from him.)
A few of the profiles have been posted here at various points in the Exeter Ledger section of the site, but most are new to this book. You’ll learn more about characters you’ve met and discover some characters that haven’t yet appeared in the books.
If you’ve read it, please let me know which character you most enjoyed reading about, and which one you would love to know more about (if you had to pick just one).
For New Englanders, especially for those in Massachusetts, it’s hard to believe the Boston Marathon was just starting at this time a week ago. It feels like we’ve had weeks packed into the past seven days with all the events.
Last week, I wrote a column for my paper in Virginia trying to explain Marathon Monday to those who’ve never experienced it. But as the week played out, and as I drove up to Franklin for a planned visit home, I was reminded of a conversation Kyrie and I had while I was working on Thrown Out.
Kyrie was arguing it wasn’t realistic to have so many characters who run. She said most people don’t run. I disagreed, though I did concede Chris probably wasn’t a runner. Still, a lot of the characters in Exeter do run, or have run in the past. As I thought back over the insanity of the last week, I realized that the Marathon has a lot to do with that. Around here, more people do run. The Marathon and its influence gives running a higher profile than it has in other places. Its legendary status in the world of road running, thanks to the qualifying times, means that running Boston says something about a person. And that, in turn, means that when you grow up around Boston, you think about running the Marathon someday. To do that, you have to start running. And so we run.
If you’ve been watching the progress meter in the sidebar, you know I’m almost done profiling the selection of Exeter characters who will appear in We Are Exeter. 🙂 For me, there have been a lot of unexpected bonuses in doing these.
I knew I’d get a chance to dig into characters I’d thought of for various stories, such as another classmate of Dan, Evan and Liz who returns to Exeter. You’ll see her in a short story at some point this year.
I knew I’d have a chance to flesh out characters who will appear in Books 2, 3 and 4 but weren’t much more than a name before I sat down to work on this.
I didn’t realize that a character I thought I was done with would insist on showing me, through that character’s answers to the questions in the Q&A portion, that this character’s not done. Far from it. The repercussions of the role this character is demanding are going to resonate throughout Exeter.
I still have eight of the 27 profiles to polish off — my project for today, at least until it’s time to go enjoy corned beef and cabbage. (I must admit, I’ve never had them.) Who knows what surprises will show up in the remaining eight profiles?