Yesterday I received a Christmas present, a gift to myself, actually. The bound proof of my new novel, The Old Love and the New Love, arrived at Baico Publishing Company, 294 Albert St. Suite 103, Ottawa K1P 6E6, and I picked them up. A bound proof is the trial print-out of a book, a single copy complete with cover, a prototype - and the author's last opportunity to make corrections. Little glitches tend to creep in, no matter how conscientiously you copy-edit.
The Old Love and the New Love gets its title from a phrase in an Irish ballad, "The Hand that Shakes the Barley". The idea of writing an action/adventure/romance came to me several years ago when I was teaching a class called "Start a Novel" and found that among my students were three bright individuals committed to writing genre fiction; that is, category fiction rather than "literary" general interest fiction.
I decided to try my hand at writing something with more action and adventure than my earlier novels (although my four mysteries include suspense and tension.) I used as a starting point an exercise to stimulate the imagination that I have given my students. The exercise goes like this:
"A couple is having a pleasant evening meal at home when there is a knock at the door. On the doorstep is someone with whom one of the partners used to be romantically involved."
The aspiring writer who takes up the challenge must find a reason for the person to show up on the doorstep, and must consider how the partners will react, and from there, build a plot.
Obviously this work is not autobiographical, but is a work of the imagination.
I won't tell you the plot of The Old Love and the New Love, as I want you to buy the book and discover it for yourself, but I will share the back cover blurb.
"When Cleo's old lover, Leo Phelan, whom she hasn't seen in a decade, turns up on her doorstep, she is flustered, not flattered. Should she invite him to join her and her husband, Andy, for dinner? Will he be the serpent in their Eden? Little does she know that Leo poses a different sort of threat. Gradually, she realizes how tangled she is in the ties that once bound them."
The Old Love and the New Love will be published early in 2012.