Finished the first draft of Hacker Golf Mystery #7: P.G.A. Spells Death. Like the most recent two or three Hackers, this one took about nine months to write. Seems to be my gestation period.
I wish I could crank out a new book every six weeks or so, like some of the indie authors out there. But my pace is slower. I usually spend two or three hours after lunch writing fiction. That’s when the juices flow, for me.
I go scene by scene. Get one down on paper today, come back tomorrow and revise and rewrite, then move onto the next scene. Over time, chapters form. They lead into the next ones. There’s a rhythm to a book, and I like to keep to it. But that’s natural for me: I learned forty years ago from a golf teacher (Chuck Hogan) that my dominant sense is auditory, so maintaining a rhythm, in both my golf swing and the pace of writing, is important.
This book came together fairly well. I don’t do a lot of outlining or plot planning. I’ve learned to let it happen. The story takes hold, characters do odd or unusual things and the story moves off into new directions. I don’t worry…just follow where it goes. Most of the time, it all comes together.
For this book, I had the bad guy right before I started writing. Actually, I had his name, which jumped unbidden into my consciousness. So knowing whodunit from the outset, all I had to do was figure out who was gonna get killed and how; and throw in some red herrings along the way.
And with the Hacker Golf Mystery series now at seven books, I can bring back characters from other stories, which is always fun. Conrad Gold, my Donald Trump doppelganger who appeared in Death from the Claret Jug as a hotel developer in St. Andrews, is back in this one. He bid an obscene amount of money for the right to stage the PGA Championship at his property along the Hudson River north of New York City.
And, of course, the relationship between Hacker and his now wife, Mary Jane, continues to evolve. They have a new baby and need to find a bigger place than the tiny apartment in Boston’s North End. I hope Hacker’s cat, Mister Shit, survives the move!