First draft of "Shadows Over Summer House" is done.

John Grisham says to never start a book without an ending already worked out.

All the way through the book I had only the vaguest outline in my mind, especially the ending. But when it came time to write the ending, it spilled out. In fact, I had three chapters to write and when I went on my walk, I finished the first of those chapters, thought out the last two chapters, came home and wrote the second the last chapter (which meant two chapters in one day, which I don't normally allow, but there was no way to push it back).

Woke up the next day knowing where the last chapter was going, and the epilogue.

The book took twice as long as usual. On purpose. I didn't want to force this book, I wanted to allow the occasional day off to do things nothing at all.

Of course, I rewrote the first 20% of the book from scratch. Once I did that, the writing was smooth sailing. There aren't any parts of it that feel off.

The biggest dare was just writing it in the casual first person way I did. I don't know if it works. It was certainly pleasant to write it that way.

No one can accuse me of writing one kind of book. This one started off as a hard-boiled heist, then became half a Gothic romance. Not heavy on the hard-boiled or the romance parts, but that's how I thought of it.

I think it works pretty well.

I kept the supernatural out until the last three chapters, which surprised me. I'm sure readers will pick up hints. I really need to find someone who knows nothing about the book to read it to get an opinion.

The book is currently at 88,000 words. I've got little Diary portions at the beginning of each chapter, and I've only written about 1/3rd of them so far. I also tend to expand when I rewrite, so my guess is this book is going to end up between 95,000 and 100,000 words, which is one of my bigger efforts.

It's probably not commercial, and there is probably no point in sending it to the big publisher I've been trying to entice with a "thriller." He's made it clear he doesn't do supernatural.

This was a declaration of independence in a way--because the story could have stayed non-supernatural, but I just don't think it would have been as satisfied with it. So I did it the way I thought it should be done.