Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Shanghai Tunnels Update!"

Well I fell into an old habit again. I think. I went back over what I've written. That 'p's and 'q's thing. So I hadn't done any real writing for the past two days. I made improvements though. I do feel better now. And I have something to write today, as in Chapter 29. Yes, that's right! I have advanced that far.

I followed Lisa's advice. I didn't look back. I made headway, but the more I wrote, the more I felt there was something I was forgetting. There was something I needed to cover that had been mentioned in a few of my earlier Chapters. As it turns out I did uncover one or two things I had forgotten.

I feel like saying that this is a long story, but then that's what this blog is for. Isn't it?

[Insert heavy sigh here.] Many years ago, when I started my 'little hobby', I had originally intended to have a different main character as the protagonist. He wasn't totally forgotten. He was just moved out of the limelight, for now, until I had more time for research. He does make an appearance in 'The Shanghai Tunnels'. His name is Kris Koskov, a former KGB agent turned Oregon Private Investigator.
His backstory starts with the death of his brother, a physicist who was overseeing the test at Chernobyl which had resulted in the explosion. Kris's superiors had kept him in the dark about it, otherwise they were certain he would've been listed among the dying. Something that most likely would've happened, considering that his parents lived only 5 miles downwind. Although their decision was sound, he still felt that he had been treated unfairly and that they didn't trust him anymore. So once the Iron Curtain had fallen, he left the agency and his country behind, and started a new life in the U.S. as a Private Investigator.
Okay. So great idea, right? Before I started writing a story for Mr. Koskov, I researched everything involving what a private investigator in Oregon was required to do in order to get and maintain a license. I covered it all, including what a former KGB agent would be facing if he were to become a p.i. in the state of Oregon. It was great. I had everything. Everything except the knowledge of what kind of life this type of person would be leading. Would he be a christian? Would he faithfully go to church every Sunday? What kind of habits would he have after having lived a life of a communist spy? Where would his loyalties really lie? You know. Things like that.
It was for that reason, plus the fact that I wanted to get something written, that I decided to instead make his partner the main character. Thus, ta-da, Lydia Pendleton gets her own series of mysteries.
In order to do this though I had to come up with a different reason for her to be a private investigator. So I had to come up with a different backstory for her. Instead of her being a wealthy widow who becomes Kris's partner after reading too many mystery novels, she's already a private investigator, who's ... well ... you already know if you've read the summary below the Blog title.

So anyway, we finally get to the what I was getting at.
When I had started writing Lydia's first book, it was after I had been letting the Kris Koskov Mysteries sit for a long time. I'd write a paragraph, then, oops, gotta find out what he would think in this situation, or, oops, gotta find out what his opinion would be about that. It got frustrating, let me tell ya. After all that time I had forgotten about having to consult rules and regulations that an Oregon private investigator should be following.
And THAT was one of the major things I uncovered when I had gone back over what I had written.

So, what was I saying? Oh right!
So that's why I say that I might not have actually fallen back into my old habits, but rather improved on a new one. One that had been given to me by a new friend and fellow author, Lisa Scottoline.

I would say more, but I've already lost a lot of time that could've been spent writing chapters. I'll keep you guys updated whether here, or on Facebook.

Bye for now.
-Greg Wilhelm, author of The Pendleton Files.

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