Sunday, August 21, 2016

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING AUGUST 20, 2016

Art by David L. Russell
Things are proceeding apace right now.

Have a little over 3100 words on what will be Book 3 of HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE; despite a few interruptions this past week.

Still don't have a title for the story I'm working on, let alone know at this point whether it will be the opening tale or the entire book, but that is one of the joys of writing: the unknown.


One thing I have noticed since I started working on Book 3 is that, at least within my mind, Hugh's voice has changed.

Not sure this is true for everybody, but when I read and/or write material, I hear a lot of the character voices in my mind, like an old time radio production. After all, one knows a specific set of voices for such properties as Star Trek, Star Wars, etc.
Bogart, circa 1945, via Wikipedia

In the past, I never had a "set" vocal rendition for Hugh though.
Although he plies his trade on another planet in the far flung future, being a traditional/old school private detective, I started off my initial work on the character hearing what I personally believe to be the epitome of the private detective, at least vocally, in Humphrey Bogart.

I mean, between films like The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca, who doesn't think of Bogie as the personification of the hard edged man who will do what's right regardless of the consequences.
Granted, a lot of hard work went into creating Hugh beyond just imagining what he might sound like, but you get the idea.

In time though, Bogie's voice did start mutating as I got a clearer picture of what Hugh was like as a person.
Yet nowadays as I write Hugh, I cannot help thinking of vocal artist Pete Milan.

Pete, along with engineer Chris Barnes at Dynamic Ram Audio, did a fantastic job on the audio adaptation of HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE, aka Volume 1, the anthology of short stories that introduced the character to the universe that would have been published in Pro Se Press' Masked Gun Mystery magazine, had that title lasted past issue 2.

I keep getting asked by fans when will CATCH A RISING STAR (Hugh's second book and first full length novel) be released in audio?

Unfortunately, the only answer I have is "You will have to ask Tommy Hancock at Pro Se." Although you can count me among those anxiously awaiting an audio edition of Book 2 too, especially if Pete Milan returns as narrator!

But for now, all I have is my copy of Book 1's audio and an over active imagination, which I better get back to using now if Book 3 is going to have any more progress, especially with what I know of the interruptions that loom in my schedule in the near future.

Take care, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
21 August, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING AUGUST 13, 2016

Afraid there really isn't all that much to say at the moment.

What will eventually be the third volume of HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE now has a little over 2000 words written.
Got a pretty good idea of where I want to go with it, but how the (first?) story turns out remains to be seen.

After all, they claim that getting there is have the fun.
Then again, whoever "they" are didn't have to do all the work getting from Point A to Point B, now did they?

While there is no deadline attached, I have promised Ron Fortier at Airship 27 another Ghost Boy story!
For those unfamiliar with the character, it's an interesting take on superheroes in the Cold War Spy Era of the 1960s.
Had a good time writing "The Sound of Obedience" for GHOST BOY, VOLUME 2, so returning to that series will be fun.

PLUS: I am aware of a couple of other writing projects in my future that I'm also highly excited about, but afraid I can't talk about those right now.
I can be such a tease at times...

Anyway, I better get back to writing now.
Take care, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
14 August, 2016

Sunday, August 7, 2016

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING AUGUST 6, 2016

OKAY…

Have sent my Sherlock Holmes story, “The Adventure of the Artful Forger”, off to Captain Ron Fortier at Airship 27. Earliest projections are it will be within Volume 11 of SHERLOCK HOLMES, CONSULTING DETECTIVE.





I have started what will be at least the first, if not the only story in HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE VOLUME 3.
As I said last week, still in the early stages of this.
Potential plot points, dots not connected
Think of it as an artist staring at a relatively blank canvas with just a few sketch lines on it, wondering what to do next, let alone how the finished painting will look.

That’s where I’m at at the moment.
A few sketch lines in place, but otherwise the field is wide open and limited only by my imagination.
Which I should get back to exercising now.

Take care, and I’ll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
7 August, 2016

Sunday, July 31, 2016

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING JULY 30, 2016

OF HOLMES AND HUGH...
Holmes/Watson (Rathbone/Bruce)

OKAY...
Got my Sherlock Holmes story back from my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader!
Once I finish going over it this time, I WILL be sending "The Adventure of the Artful Forger" to Ron Fortier at Airship 27.
Holmes' adventures by the right author can be quite enjoyable reads, but I can attest from first hand experience that they are also really tough to write.
That doesn't mean I'll never revisit Victorian England and the famous consulting detective ever again, just that I cannot foresee myself booking a return trip anytime in the remainder of 2016.


Waiting for Holmes' return, I started plotting out the initial story for what will eventually be HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE VOLUME 3!
Hugh by David L. Russell
At this point, the story doesn't have a title, and I haven't even written the opening scene yet; but when working on mysteries, you do need to have a more detailed plot worked out in advance compared to tales of action adventure, sci-fi, and other genres.
Fans of this blog and my writing will recall the past Progress Reports detailing my work on what eventually became Hugh's first full length novel: CATCH A RISING STAR.
That story just kept growing and growing to the point where it went from short to novella to novel length.
Yet while mysteries do need more of their details worked out in advance (like where everyone was at the time of the crime, their alibis, and who actually did it), when I pre-plan plots nothing is totally set in stone.
I like leaving things open enough so if other ideas come to me when I'm writing, I don't have to either start from scratch or wait till next time to use the thought.
And the ideas really kept coming during the writing of Catch!
So whether what I am starting on just turns out to be the first story or the whole book remains to be seen.
Either way, it will be a fun journey.

With that, I better get back to writing now.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
31 July, 2016
NOTE: For those who might not have already read the novel, the links to both the print AND e-book versions of Catch A Rising Star are included above.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING JULY 23, 2016

About to send the SECOND draft of my Sherlock Holmes adventure to my friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader Nancy Hansen for her thoughts.
In all honesty, I think it is a much better story now than the original draft.
Not that the first draft was bad, but for every creative endeavor I always try to submit the best story I can humanly write.
In the end, it's your opinion as the reader that matters most, but like I said before, Sherlock Holmes turned out to be a tougher creative challenge than I thought it would and I want my first outing with the Victorian Era's Consulting Detective to be memorable.

With that thought in mind, I better get back to writing now.
Take care, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
24 July, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING JULY 16, 2016

The Sherlock Holmes adventure that I have sweated over and worked on for weeks now is FINALLY in the capable hands of my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader Nancy A. Hansen!
She is going over it with a fine toothed comb, an electron microscope, and whatever else she uses.

When I get the edited copy back from her, I will be going over it with at least as much attention to detail as she displayed, making sure everything is as accurate as humanly possible in regards to the details of life during Victorian England as well as it is a tale worthy of the famous consulting detective, before submitting it to Ron Fortier at Airship 27.

I kind of find myself at loose ends at the moment waiting for Sherlock to come back, but that doesn't mean I'm idle.

I've been going over ideas for what will eventually be the third volume in my Hugh Monn, Private Detective series from Pro Se Press, as well as kicking around some other project ideas.

Some of those ideas are short stories, for I know of two projects that I WILL be contributing to once they are given the green light to start. Others are for anthologies that I want to contribute to as time permits, especially encore engagements to Ghost Boy and Sinbad-The New Voyages.
Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci

There are also some new concepts I've been considering too. Whether these work out to the point that I actually write them remains to be seen.
However, I also need to learn how to be more proficient with my writing time as well.
It's way too easy to be emotionally or Internet distracted by something.
After all, I'm only human.

On that note♫, take care everyone!
Lee Houston, Junior
17 July, 2016


Sunday, July 10, 2016

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING JULY 9, 2016

NO MATTER HOW GREAT THE WORDS ARE,
I'M STILL ONLY HUMAN.

I was making the final proofread of my Sherlock Holmes story before sending it on to my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader when I found a drastic mistake.
I gave Holmes the wrong solution!
In a lot of mystery stories, there are usually two possible solutions.
The "almost" and the "totally correct" one.

Ellery Queen on TV, circa 1975
Ellery Queen, another fictional detective, was famous for this.
Someone else, usually either his father Inspector Queen or a rival thought they had the solution to the mystery, only for Ellery to provide the correct answer to the enigma.
In my case, I accidentally gave Sherlock Holmes the "almost" solution and Inspector Lestrade the "totally correct" one.
Definitely would not cast the famous Victorian Era Consulting Detective in a good light, would it?

Found where I made the mistake(s) laying the clues and am correcting the situation now.
Hope to have the story finished and finally off to my beta/proofreader this week.
But, considering how late it is as I post this, I'll get a fresh start on the project Monday.

Take care, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
10 July, 2016