Getting into the Western mood.

I'm getting ready to start The Darkness You Fear: Ghosts of the Lost Blue Bucket Mine, which will be the third Virginia Reed Adventure.

Roy at Books of the Dead has assured me that he's ready to publish it.

So I've already spent a lot of time in Virginia Reed's head and world. It's the Western world.

I grew up there. I grew up in Bend when it was still a small logging town. I spent most of my childhood traipsing around the countryside, hunting, fishing, skiing, bucking hay, going on trail rides and otherwise living an outdoor life. (Pretty different from now, heh, but I always just wanted to stay home and read and now that I'm an adult, that's what I do.)

I'm glad for all these experiences. I feel, for instance, that I can often get the mountain scenes right, especially the snows, because I spent so much time there. Or the desert scenes. And if I need a reminder, well, I can just head out twenty minutes in any direction and get any kind of Western feel I need.

I also grew up when Westerns were ubiquitous on TV and at the movies, and when Western novels were more widespread.

All in all, I feel like it's in my bones.

So I want to settle into that particular mood, live in that particular world for a few months.

I liked The Dead Spend No Gold, but I made it harder than it needed to be by straying a little from what I did in Led to the Slaughter.

Virginia needs to be the primary character. She needs to be in 2/3rds of the book.

And using Journals was a great way to impart information and move the story and reach for a realistic feel to the West.

I'm going to map out the plot a little more than usual this time. Spend a week or two just thinking about it before I start.

I have taxes to do by mid-month, and I want to tidy up the garden for winter, and maybe get out of town for a couple of days. (Hell, head into the High Desert and take notes.)  I may even make a trip to Baker City and just get started.  Sounds like fun.

I'm ready.