Birthing a new novel…the first blush

Out of the blue [trite but true]—it wouldn’t be during a rainstorm in Austin—some ideas have begun to form for Tricia Gleason’s 4th adventure—that is, my 4th novel featuring my wonderful protagonist.

Instead of having her return to her Berkeley seminary am thinking of having her return to a Beaverton church—they need a minister for a year.  Although Tricia isn’t ordained,
she can be licensed so everything’s okay.

When she gets there she learns a church member has been convicted of a triple murder and is sitting on death row in the Oregon State Penitentiary.  She visits him monthly and
in some of his comments, picks up new information.  Which leads, as you can anticipate, to a new investigation.  Stay tuned.

Then a church member comes to her aghast a will—the entire estate bequeathed to her by her mother—has been re-written.  The member is disinherited and doesn’t know how to challenge the re-write.  Tricia, although not an attorney, sparks a new relationship [ah, intimacy has its day for her] with an attorney who helps the member’s cause.  Stay tuned.

Another member cannot understand why a sister has nothing to do with her.  This member, a tennis star at Portland State, is Phi Beta Kappa, is stone-walled by her older sister.  Tricia tries to intervene and a horrific tragedy results.  Which causes Tricia to
think…very troubled in this reflective time…if she might return to the fishing
nets and forget returning to seminary.  Stay tuned.

All this in the first few chapters…as I ponder it.  Only problem.  Not all of this is fiction.  Oops.

[I remember from my first teacher in writing novels, as found in her fiction novels offered this advice: Everyone in my novel is someone I know but whom I embellish so they’d never figure it out…and, never write about anything you don’t know about.]

So, I’ll have to shift and twist on the above…but, I must acknowledge this is the first scripting of my thoughts…some may work.  And, for sure, the novel will have evidence
of life, ministry, fishing and murder…but seldom in that order.  And, I don’t know yet…all of the above may be included and none may be.  But, thinking in this manner is stimulating.  And, I think, Tricia would be pleased.  At least I can hope.

A postscript:  I’m really grateful that my book of blogs, “Voice of My Heart,” will be published later this fall.  All the text and pictures and comments from readers are with Authorhouse.  They published my second book of epistles and asked to help with this one.  As I like to say, more on the late news.

Second postscript:  Very much looking forward to my Oregon trip, September 9-15.  Two newspaper writers and a book store owner will review, “Murder On Tillamook Bay,” the Tillamook County Library has scheduled an evening for me to speak, “Writing my first novel,” read the first chapter of “Murder…” and do a book-signing.  Gosh, this is special.  Plus I will get together at a luncheon with my high school classmates, Class of 1958
[will be great to share notes with them] and worship at the second church I served, First Congregational Church in Eugene.  And, as you would not be surprised, I will fish one day with Jon and Patti Winter [wonderful fishing guides—married them more than ten years ago] and a second day with Chris Vertopoulos [Zorba]…both trips will be on Tillamook
Bay.  And unlike the first chapter in my novel, I expect no one to be shot after catching a fall Chinook salmon.


About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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