Saturday, January 23, 2010
Eight years later, its gone from a lark to an actual book nearly ready for pub. The transition from a 200 page story about a ghost in a closet to a 600 page manuscript involving an intricate mystery is a story in itself, much too long to pub here.
I had written over a dozen murder mystery plays for my dinner theater company, Star Dust Productions, plus had penned a gazillion short stories and newspaper articles over the years. But I never attempted a full-length novel, and thought it would be a fun project. The idea was to write a story that I myself would enjoy reading...so I incorporated people, places and things from my past (as many authors do) at the shore in South Jersey, set the story between 1938 and 1939 in Wildwood, New Jersey, and wrote different parts in different styles. I drew inspiration from characters such as Mike Hammer and Phillip Marlow for the detective. I got stylistic ideas from dozens of authors, from Stephen King to Hemmingway. And I threw it all together free-form, without an outline, without even a clear understanding of where the story would go...I let the characters drive the action. (Although this was a really fun way to write, as I discovered the plot while writing it, I wouldn't suggest it. It's really time-consuming and, as you might guess, caused a lot of discrepancies and continuity issues that needed to be carefully proofed and fixed as the book progressed. I didn't even have an ending until almost a year after I started writing. But damn, it was fun to write!)
So here I am, about six years from the completion of the first draft. I've been working on it part time of course, which accounts for the time frame. But I just completed all the edits of Chapter One, which means that Murder Behind the Closet Door is within a month or so of finalization. Soon the letters will go out to agents, and although I have no dillusions it will ever get picked up, I'm going to try. At the very least I'll get it self published on CreateSpace, mainly for my own amusement.
But honestly, I believe it's a good book. Not to sound conceded, but I'm actually a professional writer, and believe this book is well-written and interesting from start to finish. The characters are fun and always act real; the story is never contrived, and the characters don't make decisions based on what easily makes the story work. In contrast, the characters make very real-life, difficult decisions based on their circumstances. This made several plot points hard to actuate, but it makes for a much more realistic and interesting story, in my opinion (as I said, I wanted to write a story I would enjoy reading).
If you like murder mysteries, the paranormal, and a glimpse at life in another time, I think you'll enjoy Murder Behind the Closet Door. Coming soon, to a Kindle or Amazon store near you :)
-Christopher Pinto, author
For more information on Murder Behind the Closet Door, visit www.stardustmysteries.com