As the time draws near to the official June 1 release of 36 Yalta Boulevard (though it’s been available at Amazon and B&N for a few days), I find myself working harder than ever on other projects.

This morning I sent off a short story to my agent, “Investing in Vevey”, about a young Texan couple in Naples who commit large-scale tourism fraud, succeed brilliantly, and are then haunted by the Italian Mafia, who want a slice. But in the end, the Mafiosi turn out not be who they say, nor are they interested in money. They want revenge.

I also sent off a list of five ideas to a film agent at Endeavor, who my literary agent knows. Thank God for networking! The hope is that something will be of interest, and I can move on to the outline/writing stage with some confidence. Over the past couple years I’ve penned two scripts, only to find out, once I was finished, that their subjects/storylines weren’t salable. Fair enough. At least I got some more practice in the form. But this time around I want to know there’s a possibility my hard work will pay off. Even if none of the ideas strike this agent’s interest, it’ll be interesting to get his feedback, because the logic of Hollywood, as we all know, is an entirely different beast from the logic of real life.

I wanted to get these things out because the really big project is now in front of me: the revisions (and in many ways, re-writing) for my fourth novel, presently called LIBERATION MOVEMENTS. My previous books were relatively easy to revise—by the time they reached my editor they were pretty good to go, with some minor alterations. This time, I’ve gone for a different kind of storytelling and a different pace; the plot doesn’t depend as much on the politics of the time, and it involves Soviet research into parapsychology—a real departure from the hard-nosed reality of my previous books.

Which adds up to missteps and problems a-plenty, and lots of work for me now. Luckily, I have a wonderful editor at St Martin’s Minotaur, Kelley Ragland, who has an iron-clad shit-detector. She, like all the best editors, is able to see what I, as the author, was always unconsciously aware of, but too lazy or cocky to actually fix myself.

So I better stop procrastinating and get on it.

(Originally posted at the Contemporary Nomad)