by Kathleen Ernst
My third Chloe Ellefson mystery, The Lightkeeper’s Legacy, has been delivered to Midnight Ink. I’ve also sent copies to content reviewers so that by the time my production editor has a clean copy for me to review, I’ll be ready with their feedback.
It takes me a year to write an adult mystery. Since Chloe is a museum curator, the plots include historical themes and elements that require some research. The Lightkeeper’s Legacy has two timelines—one in the 1980s and one in the 1800s—and so was more complicated to plot and research than my previous mysteries have been. I spent a lot of time immersed in the story.
I’ve also been juggling a couple of projects, so finishing Legacy in time to meet deadlines was a bit intense. I ended up spending a week with my laptop at a monastery so I could work without interruption. There were moments when I dreamed of hitting “send” so the manuscript was---at least for a while---someone else’s baby. I had thoughts of all the things I’d been putting off: having coffee with a friend, excavating piles and files in hopes of finding the surface of my desk, actually cooking dinner.
As soon as the manuscript was delivered, though, I got itchy to work on the fourth Chloe book. I want to keep to the book-a-year cycle if I can. I also had ideas circling in my head that needed to be captured before they flew away. I missed the main characters, and wanted to get back in touch.
So alas, my desk is still largely buried, stacks of reference books cover much of the floor, and I’m still not cooking and baking as much as I’d like. I am, however, having a lot of fun tiptoeing into a new story. This one will be set in a new location, so I’m getting to know a different environment. Aside from Chloe, her mom, and cop Roelke McKenna, the cast will also be new. So many possibilities to consider!
Writers – do you take a break between books? Or do you dive right into the next? Readers – do you appreciate series that generally add one new book a year? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Please visit me at http://kathleenernst.com to learn more about my mysteries for adults and young readers.