After vacillating wildly on what to write next, I've finally begun a sequel to OUT AND IN. Called ICE AND FIRE, this mystery-thriller utilizes the backdrop of the world-class astronomical research telescopes atop the 13,803-foot Mauna Kea. For those who don't know, Mauna Kea is so high above and distant from polluting light that 13 working international telescopes make their home on the Big Island of Hawaii.
But, Where Is This Tending?
As I usually do, I drafted about 25 pages of this new novel, thinking I could get away with simply writing the entire tale, but then I did what I always have to do. Stop drafting and do a freaking plot outline because I don't have a clue where I'm headed.
I hate outlining even more than plotting, but writing is a craft, and you've got to have key plot points in specific areas. Otherwise, you and your readers will get 100 pages into the novel and ask yourself, as my writing professor once did, "Where is this tending?"
And so today, I fleshed out a skeleton outline, which remains fluid because characters tend to take over and mess up your plans. But thanks to the tremendous resources available online, ICE AND FIRE is taking shape as a whodunit with international intrigue, an angry killer, a romantic road bump for my cello-playing heroine Marie, and the return of several characters from OUT AND IN, including the evil-doer from that first story.
Thirty Meter Telescope...Will This Move Forward?
There is one kink in my plot's outline which involves a new telescope called TMT, or Thirty Meter Telescope. There remains intrigue about if or when it will be built atop Mauna Kea. The project was halted in late-2020 by a combination of Covid, the need for further funding, and Hawaiian protests. It seems that a group of tradition-focused Hawaiians are vehemently resistant to any new telescopes being built, since to them Mauna Kea is their sacred mountain.
Hopefully, the decision for TMT to move forward will be made before my novel's publication date. If it's not built on the Big Island, TMT will be built on the Spanish Canary Island of LaPalma, where locals appear eager to host major scientific projects and benefit from jobs and the economic boost to their economy. For more about TMT, you might go to this link. For the LaPalma Observatories, go here.
By the way, you can read OUT AND IN for only $4.99 on Kindle, or for free on Kindle Unlimited. And it's available in paperback too. Be sure to follow me on Amazon to learn when ICE AND FIRE will hit the pre-order store.