Now what? “It’s a book about…”

At the end of January-February, National Novel Writing Month‘s “Now What” period, I’ve been busy revising, and spending a lot of time producing a story I want people to read and enjoy. And eventually see the movie.

Here’s the pitch

So, what’s your book about anyway? You’ve been talking about it since 2015. Thank you for asking, blog visitor!

Sam Chase has kicked around in local television news for 15 years, covering hurricanes and car accidents, always one step away from the national news job she wants. On the verge of breaking the biggest political scandal in decades, one mistake lands her even further away from that goal.

Professionally humiliated and privately adrift, Sam returns to her hometown of Beau Bay, on Nova Scotia’s rocky Atlantic coast, to hide from her predicament in her childhood bedroom.

It won’t be a quiet vacation, though, because Beau Bay is a small town with a big problem. Every week, chaos comes to town, as thousands of people show up to play the lottery fundraiser that has lasted way longer than anyone expected.

Week after week, no one with a winning Chase the Ace ticket can get the job done: drawing the Ace of Spades to win the big prize. From a jackpot of $45 in Week #1 to almost $2 million in Week #45, what are the odds?

It becomes the craziest, unlikeliest story of Sam’s career, and she’s not telling it alone. Old friends, frazzled parents, salty neighbours, political foes, a dead spouse, big city news bosses, and the one who got away – everyone plays an unexpected role in her biggest, smallest story yet.

The more Chase the Ace grows, Sam discovers the chase is one thing, but what’s the catch?

Inspired by the completely-true story of a 2015 fundraising lottery that saw $1.7 million going to the eventual winner, Chase the Ace is a contemporary commercial novel set in a fictional town in Nova Scotia, Canada and is informed by my experience as a former political operative and constant wanderer.

Status report

Yes, I’m basically doing homework every night for free and fun. Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • I work full time, so I write and revise every day, for a minimum of an hour.
  • Dictate several pages of text and dialogue every morning after getting out of the shower, as I think of something to add/edit/move every single time I shower.
  • Read one book a week, either fiction or some nonfiction about writing craft.
  • Read Save the Cat, recommended to me ages ago by a published author friend.
  • Subsequently re-plotted the whole thing.
  • Read The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory, a contemporary rom-com novel, and got a million ideas about what to do with my own contemporary rom-com.
  • Finished a revision of Act I, shared a non-spoilery chapter with friends.
  • Promptly started replotting everything again, so what they’ve read is already different.
  • Moved on to Act II, approximately 50% of the book.
  • Replotted that, too. Cut a bunch of stuff and several people. Goodbye, nameless characters!
  • Find myself strangely productive between 9:00-11:00 pm at night, a time of day I have never been interested in before.

I’m still naming characters and places, too, names are exhausting. How are things with you?

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