With The Blessed and the Damned in copy edits and the first draft of Destroying Angel in the rewrite phase, I've begun some tentative brainstorming on the next book. The exciting news is that Thomas & Mercer is happy enough with sales on the first three books and with the writing in book #4 that they're talking about offering a contract extension. While I'm excited about the chance to spend another two or three books exploring the stories of Blister Creek, I'm far enough ahead of my release schedule that I've got time to cleanse my palate with something completely different.
I've got a few ideas, but the one that is drawing me is another WWII thriller. I've never been as immersed in a project as when I was writing The Red Rooster, and would love to return to the world of Occupied France. Of course, writing in such a well-known historical setting requires tons of research, and I found the writing here much slower than with other books. I can't simply turn off the internet, for one, because every few pages I find myself needing to consult maps of Paris or look up the recipe for some dish. If you're not careful, you can fall down that rabbit hole and never emerge. And at the end of the day, you still need to produce your pages.
I don't have a plot yet, but I have the beginnings of a plot, and a few characters are stirring in the imagination. My plan is to brainstorm for a half hour or so per day and within a couple of weeks I should know if there's anything there. Assuming there is--and I'm feeling optimistic--I'll probably try to get Destroying Angel to my agent and my beta readers by the end of April and start the first draft of the new book on May 1.