Hard on the heels of launching REMAINDER and filing taxes and the Easter holiday, I am scrambling to publish the third book in my Mackenzie Wilder/Classic Boat romantic mysteries, FLYING PURPLE PEOPLE SEATER. Working now on final revisions, cover, and formatting as I wonder if going in the direction I did was really a good idea. Ever have those moments? The ones where you wonder if you just killed your own darling by being daring?
On the other hand, I can honestly say I like what I did with it, especially since it provided me with the epigraphs I love to write. And thanks to my writing group, they turned out pretty nifty. Here’s a couple from FLYING PURPLE PEOPLE SEATER:
“What a gas! Bootleggin’ on the river was nothin’ like by car. Bouncin’ across the waves, dodgin’ in and outta the islands… You could slip between two of ’em and no one would know you was there. Especially not the flatfoots they had mindin’ the border… I remember one time, there was this cave I found. I could slide alongside the shore and cut the engine. I’d pole in and angle behind the rocks inside… This time, I gets inside and I’m polin’ back there, and all of a sudden, I can’t go any farther. There’s already a boat in there, and there’s this boat is this guy and a swanky dame with gams that ran from stem to stern smoochin’ like there’s no tomorrow. They couldn’t get out past me, and I couldn’t get past them. We stayed like that for twenty minutes, not lookin’ at each other, just waitin’ to see if the coppers would find us.”
“Me and Pop was never ones for religion. We went to Mass sometimes when Al insisted all the boys show up. But all that Hell and Purgatory stuff, I never believed in that. Irony? Now that I did believe in.”
“I was always the guy everyone talked to – like Lindy. Gettin’ himself into trouble with some dame, which he was always doin’ . He’d come to me for advice on calmin’ the lady down and convincin’ her she’d got everythin’ all wrong. I had to teach him how to treat dames right. Did it, too. Enough so’s Lindy got himself married and had five kids, all girls. Served him right.”
I love writing chapter epigraphs. They’re like vignettes that drop clues to what’s happening.
What’s a favorite stylistic thing you do?