Way back in 2003 I began writing a novel about a group of paranormal investigators based at a college in Burlington VT. I never got very far with that, much to Kelly's disappointment as she had been looking forward to reading it. At the time, I had never written a novel and didn't think I had it in me to write a book. I lost confidence in myself and set it all aside in a binder...which she often pulled out to look through wistfully.
In 2011 I wrote a novel using the same characters and titled it The Victoria Wayfarer Investigation. I actually finished that novel. It ticked my daughter off that I 'stole' the characters from The Fairlawn Investigation and wrote a whole novel that wasn't Fairlawn! It took me until 2013 to wrote the first novel, The Fairlawn Investigation. And it has subsequently taken me four additional years to get around to tackling revisions, continuity issues, and general editing and proofreading of Fairlawn to get it ready for publication.
Tonight, I'm going into CreateSpace to order two print proof copies so Kell and I can read through the just revised novel and see what we can catch that may still need to be tweaked. It's crazy how the world has changed in 14 years...and my characters would be 14 years older than they were when I started the novels- so I had to edit out all the dates I wrote into the text so there are no real reference points and they can age gracefully throughout the series of novels.
There are two additional novels started in the series besides the two finished novels. The Persian Garden Theater Investigation links to the first two. The Rose Hall Investigation will also connect up through a reference to the location in the third novel.
Since creating these characters 14 years ago I feel as if I've come to know them very well- they're like old friends.
I'll reveal a secret here- in The Fairlawn Investigation I actually fictionalized two real people I know- my office manager and a coworker. I made them both guest investigators from a ghost hunting investigation society based in the Berkshires which are just next door to where we all live.It was the first time I transformed real people into fictional characters. I subsequently fictionalized my sweet, elderly button collecting friend Pauline in several stories. She was always thrilled to find herself in a new story!
Another aside here- Kelly liked the idea so much that she borrowed it for her novel Parapsychology which she recently self published. She even borrowed Dr. Beeler from my novels and mentioned him in hers! I might have to give her a nod and borrow her characters in the third novel!
I'm going to go order the proofs and then it's back to proofreading The Victoria Wayfarer Investigation so I can get these two novels out of the milk crate and into reader's hands as they were meant to be!