A few years ago I published my first mystery novel, Murder In The Inn, followed, the next year, by Another Murder In The Inn and now, I’m working on Murder In Another Inn .  This might seem like a lack of imagination in titles but there’s  a good reason.  The first two Inn books  are set in Washington DC where I lived but, since I moved to Miami Beach, I decided that the  protagonist, Sandy, the owner of the Inn,  should move too.  Sandy, and her husband, the comedian Joey Jason, will decide to buy  a bed and breakfast inn in Miami Beach and become snowbirds, dividing their time between DC and Florida.  I’ve  become very attached to Sandy and Joey,  Noah the house-keeper, Janie, Sandy’s step-daughter and Allison, Sandy’s twin sister and it feels so good to be  writing about them again; its sort of like catching up with old friends.  I’m going to write the book in the same format as the first two; each chapter  will begin  with a telephone message from Sandy and continue with her narration of the events.

There will be lots of new characters like  Chef George, the celebrity chef, Sophie, the owner  of the catering company Sophie Says Eat, Tommy Silk, a dance instructor at Smooth as Silk Dance Studio, Marsha, the president of the Temple Sisterhood, Jay Harmon, the best-selling author,  and Joshua Greenburg, , a young, single rabbi.   They and several others  will be staying in the Inn and will participate in a murder mystery week-end, a Jewish Passover Seder and a book-signing event.  Janie will begin a romance with a very unlikely suitor and of course, there will be a murder (or two) to keep Sandy busy

I think about the book and the characters constantly; they are almost as real to me as friends  I see everyday. I  talk to Sandy and Janie and Noah  in my head and almost dream about them.  I can see the book, I can see myself holding it in my hand and turning the pages.  I picture  it on Amazon and in bookstores. I feel like it is already written and finished but it’s  not even half-way there, except in my mind. I’ve been  been working on it on and off for a few months but now, I’m going to get serious and focused. So far I’ve  completed a brief outline, a rough draft  and a  character description detailing each person’s personality and  relationship tothe others. That was a  really fascinating thing to do, I didn’t  know, until I wrote it, that Marsha was divorced from Chef George or that Sophie had a terrible temper or that Melvin owned Glass restaurant. I get so attached to my characters, it’s really hard to murder one of them and even harder to decide which one will turn out to be the murderer.

My plan  is to  write a thousand words a day plus edit the previous day’s work and to have the book finished by my birthday in April. I’m going to blog about my progress from time to time because  I work best under the pressure of a deadline, even if that deadline is self-imposed.  I’m going to pretend that I have an editor breathing down my neck saying “write, Write, write that book.” I’m going to imagine  that there are hundreds of readers clamoring for it and empty shelves in bookstores waiting for it.   I’m starting tomorrow morning, right after I swim and eat breakfast and read the newspaper and check my email.

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