Taking the short way home
October 25, 2019
Today’s readers, from what I have learned, want novels that can be read in one or two sittings.
I’VE READ ABOUT IT and thought about it.
I’ve written about it.
We writers live in the age of brevity.
Readers, at this particular point in time, no longer have the attention spans they once did.
The era of epics has disappeared.
It wasn’t that way when I started writing.
It may not be that way next year.
But today’s readers, from what I have learned, want novels that can be read in one or two sittings.
I began developing an idea to create a three-book series of novellas, all featuring the same primary character.
That’s how I met Roland Sand.
He was a rogue CIA assassin on the run in Durango, Colorado.
He worked for an intelligence agency the CIA no longer recognized.
His mission was to assassinate the President of the United States.
Sand had made one mistake.
He had fallen in love.
And he knew if he failed, the girl he loved would die.
Thus began my first novella in “The Quiet Assassin” series, Lovely Night to Die.
The second volume was set in Odessa in Ukraine.
Sand is on a mission with a British intelligence officer.
It’s called Rainy Night to Die.
Sand’s missions are those no one else wants to tackle.
The reason is simple.
Sand is damaged goods.
Sand is expendable.
If he doesn’t return, he won’t be missed.
His name is erased.
It’s as though he never existed.
He is sent to Ukraine to smuggle out a beautiful lounge jazz singer who, for years, has been smuggling Russian secrets back to MI-6’s home office in Great Britain.
Her contact in London has been compromised.
He is found floating in the Thames River.
Sand must extricate Pauline Bellerose before the Russians trace the stolen secrets back to her and place a noose around her neck.
He has twenty-four hours to find the singer and remove her to safety.
If she is caught, she dies.
A ship waits in the fog off the coast of Odessa.
Time is running out.
He must reach the ship at the appointed hour, or it will leave without them.
In the secret world of espionage, the window of escape is narrow and closing all the time.
The midnight storm is the only place to hide.
The Russians are waiting on the road to sea.
Sand can’t outrun them.
He can’t outfight them.
He must outwit them.
Otherwise, he’s trapped, and it’s a rainy night to die.
In the third novella, Sand is caught in Never-Never Land.
He’s not sure where he is or why he’s there.
But he awakens and a lovely dime-a-dance girl is sitting on the park bench beside him.
He’s been shot.
She’s been shot.
She’s quite dead.
And Sand doesn’t know who pulled the trigger.
But he’ll find out if it kills him.
And it just might.
Life is as fragile as death in Never-Never Land.
I’m serious when I write about concentrating on short.
Lovely Night to Die takes place in three days.
Rainy Night to Die begins and ends within thirty-six hours.
Lonely Night to Die from first page to last is less than twenty-four hours.
If there was a fourth book, I might wind it up between breakfast and lunch.
If I don’t talk myself out of it …
If Roland Sand doesn’t run off and leave me …
If a better character doesn’t come along and make me forget him …
I just may give it a shot.
Please click HERE to find Lonely Night to Die on Amazon.