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  • Writer's pictureAlec Peche

Leaving Scotland for New Orleans!

Finally after nineteen months CASTLE KILLING is finished. This book is the shortest story that took me the longest to write. Go figure. It took so long that I wondered if the Jill Quint series needed to end.

What I discovered along the way was that it will continue! I have many more Jill Quint stories in my imagination.

I've commented in the past about how location plays into my writing. Since my heritage is British-Irish and I've visited the UK several times, the inspiration should already be in my brain, Right?...Wrong, my brain replaced my memories of the UK with more recent travel experiences, so nothing was powering my imagination. Add to that the angle I took for the murder motivation was buried in WWII, and I was out of my depth in many ways.

I was nearing the end of my story and the words were well short of my average 80,000 word story and I could think of no story arcs that would take me to there. My initial feedback from early readers was the story was a keeper once I closed a few story holes. I did and that didn't significantly lengthen the book, so it's going to be released as my shortest novel.

So what's the story about? I killed one of my darlings. Some of the great names in fiction say that over time you need to kill your darlings. So Nick, the recurring character from book 2 onward gets shoved out of Cardiff Castle's clock tower and falls to his death. This was my first sticking point - who pushed him out the window and why? I thought I wrote a wonderful opening scene, but four thousand words later I didn't know the motivation for his death and had not a clue where to go with the story. The book I thought would be easy to write suddenly became the hardest.

You might be surprised that I would start on a story and so quickly run out of ideas. Alas, that's just the way I write; with the book's characters making things up in my imagination. I guess because I killed one of my darlings, my other characters shut up in protest. Sounds a little bonkers doesn't it? After eight books though it’s a process that works for me.

In the end I hope you'll enjoy the story. CASTLE KILLING is available for pre-order now at Amazon and you can pre-order it by following this link.

I've left Scotland and moved on to my next story in New Orleans. I visited the city last September so I have lots of ideas for the story. Jill gets called there by a pathologist friend of hers who is stumped by an autopsy of a man in his thirties. I walked the streets of the French Quarter and Garden District doing my best to soak in the atmosphere of the city and its people, so I'm excited to start on the story. I've got a cover design in mind but no title yet and two pages of notes to prompt my writing. One of the difficulties with each story is having a reason for Jill and the team to be called in to a particular case, but I have an answer for that in book nine of the Jill Quint series!

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