People always ask what was my favorite book to write. And I always reply, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, the one I just finished. Which stands to reason, considering I've lived, breathed and slept the story for the previous four months to a year, depending.
EDGE OF BLACK, though, was the fastest book I've ever written, clouded by the severe illness and ultimate death of my writing companion, Jade, AKA Thrillercat.
I know I've mentioned it before, but Jade was the reason I got back into writing in the first place. It was her adoption that started me on the path, a strange confluence of events that led to a back surgery and subsequent recovery, and the realization, after reading a John Sandford book, that writing was my calling.
The death of a pet is never easy. The death of your muse, that's a whole different story.
We writers are a suspicious lot. We're like baseball players - if something is working, it's best not to mess with it. In many ways, I've always attributed the saving of that small, sickly, stripedy cat with the blessing of the muse. Almost as if with saving her life, she gave me the gift of writing in return.
And when I lost her, I feared I'd lost my ability to write. I dreaded returning to the page. I was stuck in a bad place.
And yet... I had a deadline to keep. I couldn't just all stop on my writing. I looked at the book journal I kept during the writing of EDGE OF BLACK - something I do with all my books - and realize the day she died, I was at 50,000 words. Two weeks later I was at 95,000. The book was done. Clean, finished, edited and done.
And had humor. More humor than I've ever written in a book.
Some writers can toss off a book in two weeks - I can't. I labor and tweak and rewrite and edit, and it takes several months to get a book where I want it to be. Not with Edge. I have no idea what possessed me.
Or maybe I do.
I never take gifts for granted, even when they come from ghost cats.
Edge of Black goes on sale tomorrow.