Whither Kepler?

Quick note: Today, I pinch hit over at Sleuthsayers where I wax philosophical over Greek gods and crime fiction. Check it out.

I started on the fourth Kepler novel this past weekend.

And stopped.

After spending the past year rewriting Holland Bay and writing a science fiction novel, the story just seemed… Small. Kepler was no longer speaking to me, despite my recently finishing a novella featuring him. The novel was even outlined years ago, during the first couple of rounds of revisions on Bad Religion.

Not happening. The setting still beckons, but most of the story just crumbled. It became another excuse for Nick to sleep with one of the characters. Plus, compared to the sprawling story that is Holland Bay and the ensemble piece that became the science fiction novel, it just didn’t have enough to hold my interest.

And so while I have a novella, a complete rewrite of “Gypsy’s Kiss,” due out later this summer, this looks like it’s the end of the line for Nick.

In a way, it’s too bad. I had an entire arc planned out for Nick. This new novel would have cost him Elaine. Its follow-up would have run him out of Cleveland. That follow up would have sent one character, the future Mrs. Kepler, in search of him in a reversal of the traditional knight-princess tale. Yeah, Nick would have been at rock bottom and in need of rescuing.

Who knows? Nick may call to me again. But the story’s gone cold, and for now, I’m content with the trilogy, a remaining short being shopped, and “Gypsy’s Kiss,” which takes place between Northcoast Shakedown and Second Hand Goods. For now, I have new stories to tell.


3 thoughts on “Whither Kepler?

  1. Interesting timing. My series detective is also named Nick (Forte), and I wondered if I might be finished with him for a couple of years. My story ideas all seemed to want to take place in the new series, and a Forte novel I tried to get off the ground remained listless and was abandoned about halfway through. I stumbled onto an idea a couple of weeks ago that led to another idea i’d had before, and the two of them combined sound like a story I might want to write. So, Nick Forte may be resurrected after all. May the same be true some day of Kepler. I’m a fa. I

    • Never say never. But I’m finding the long stories I write now begin with finding all the pieces and putting them together like a jigsaw puzzle. Kepler is someone you drop into a situation and watch what happens.

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