The inspiration to write Doubled Jeopardy came from character development in the previous story, No Fracking Way. The animosity between Bradley Obsert and Joe Capri in the prior story was so pronounced, it fired my imagination.
I called Joe Capri (yes, the character is based on a real life person. The real Joe chose his character name) and asked him one question: what's the backstory? We ended up having a good, long brainstorming session. I came away with the outline for Doubled Jeopardy.
As always, the story and the characters took on a life of their own. I reined in everyone just enough to achieve the goals of the bigger plot-line. First, I introduced Dawn to the readers. The real Joe's wife is an incredibly intelligent and gutsy woman (Joe would add stunning beauty to the description, I'm sure). The world of the Undead Bar Association would be sadly lacking without Dawn, so I'm gradually pulling her in.
The second goal I wanted to achieve with this story was to set up the next story. Goal over achievement. Doubled Jeopardy set up the next 7 stories. Remember early on when Maryanne said a case literally slapped her in the face? You'll read all about it in “Homesdead”, the very next story. Did you notice everyone's concern for Absola at the end of the story? Absola's adventures in Paris will follow “Homesdead.”
After that, we'll get into more Origin Stories / Case Files of the UBA. Each of the founding members has at least one story to share. Naomi met the right witch at the wrong time. Nick found out why he's a ghost magnet. Tanya and Charles had a very...unique...honeymoon. The ghost they expected, but the kidnappings...not so much. Joe spent some time chasing the impossible, only to find more than he bargained for. And Maryanne? There's a good reason she left Dallas and moved back to the Texas Panhandle. Sometimes a genius can know too much.
The third and final goal of the story was to give the reader a change. All the e-mails and messages I've received about the stories so far have been very encouraging, but with one caveat. No one wants to hear everything from the heroine's perspective every time. I appreciate everyone being honest on that point. It's better for me as a writer, to write from different perspectives. Doubled Jeopardy let me do that for the first time. It won't be the last time I write as a different character, though I do hope it's the last time I write from Stanley Obsert's perspective. Walking around inside that character's head was beyond uncomfortable. But I learned a lot from the experience. I wrote up psychological profiles for Stanley and Bradley before I began the story. Special attention had to be paid to the co-dependent nature of the relationship between the brothers; without that, the twist at the end couldn't happen. It wasn't an easy exercise, but I'm pleased with the results. I could credit my parents for all the training they gave me on profiling, but they'd probably prefer I leave them out it. So I won't say a word.
On another topic, what do you think of Kimberly? She surprised me. Every so often I have a minor character step out of the shadows and command the spotlight. Usually, I let them have it...for a little while, at least. Kimberly is a great character, dark and vivid in the same breath. You'll be seeing her again.
Effective today, the blog is on semi break through November 27. Mutant of the Week will continue to post on Fridays, and Tasty Tidbits will post sporadically. The purpose of the semi-break is to give me time to write. I learned during Doubled Jeopardy that things go smoother if I write out at least half the story before I start posting. So that's the goal for the next story, too.
Look for Part 1 of Homesdead on November 28, 2011!