The Lookers (the characters in my first book, Overlook) are coming back. I’d put aside the sequel to Overlook because I had other, more pressing, projects and didn’t know where Kitty and Stacia’s stories were going. They had the immediate problem of dealing with Kitty’s rash behavior at the end of the first book (I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but suffice to say, it’s not a good idea to make Kitty Haskell angry.), but I didn’t know where the novel was going from there. Early drafts primarily dealt with Kitty and Stacia’s domestic conflicts and bored me to tears. The story needed some excitement.
Then, I had one off those moments of inspiration that come at the most inopportune times. I was scrubbing the grout in the shower when I imagined my character, Stacia, sitting on my bathroom counter flicking her cigarette into the sink. She turned to me and said, “You know, if I hadn’t wanted to see the inside of that house so bad, I would never have known that Bitsy wore a wig.” Needless to say, half the shower didn’t get scrubbed that day. I needed to figure out what Stacia was talking about. Bitsy Magnuson-Evans is a minor character in Overlook, however, she became a major character in Escape Plan and just what the novel needed. Adding Bitsy to the mix allowed me to add a few other characters to the novel and gave Kitty and Stacia a reason to stop being so broody.
It took me another several months to get a reasonable draft together to show my critique partners, but I am feeling pretty good about Escape Plan. Our little group of writers recently met and their feedback was very positive. They pointed out the places where I dropped a subplot or two and asked some excellent questions that will help me get a final draft ready.
This where all y’all come in. I will need beta-readers. If you would be interested in getting an early look at Escape Plan (i.e. before it goes to an editor), please contact me, either on the form below or at Elizabeth (at) elizabethhein.com. I plan to have the beta copies ready to go sometime in September and will be eternally grateful.