I completed a second revision of Murder at Cape Three Points on Monday July 23. It came in at 387 pages (about 90,000 words), trimmed down from 460 pages. Included on the cutting room floor were two action scenes that just didn’t work for the novel. On the first revision, I’m usually pretty ruthless and get rid of superfluous stuff. It’s likely that editors may recommend further trimming, although I would like the novel to stay between 350 and 400 pages.
Right now the manuscript is with a friend and superb freelance editor who used to work for Random House. She’ll review it to see if anything can be strengthened before I send it to my agent, who will then have a couple of interested publishing houses look at it. We might be looking at a “hybrid” e-book/paper agreement, i.e. the paper publisher doesn’t hold the e-book rights and vice-versa.
Micro-synopsis: Against the backdrop of the new oil industry in Ghana off Cape Three Points, Inspector Darko Dawson investigates a bizarre and chilling murder that enmeshes him in family intrigue, adultery, high finance, and corruption at the highest government levels.
Here are things to look for in this novel:
(1) Does Darko’s son Hosiah finally get his heart surgery, and is it successful? [Hint: Hosiah's going to be around for a long time ]
(2) What happens to Sly, the cool kid in Children of the Street?
(3) What’s it like to be on an actual offshore oil rig? How do you get on one? [Answer: with great difficulty]
(4) Can a drop-dead gorgeous young doctor break Darko’s fidelity record with his beloved wife Christine? [Hint: Uh-oh]
(5) Is it simply wrong to have wanton sex among the ruins of a 400-year-old German fort? [Hint: bad, bad Darko]
Publication date: wish I knew exactly, but not before 2013
Another small item of news, the German version of Children of the Street was released July 20 as Accra, with a nicely produced jacket design that IMHO beats the dull, American cover hands down (the author seldom has much power over the design.)