Audacious idea – one week later

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Yeah, no movement on the whole Second Star Foundation idea – I told you it would be late this year before I got rolling on this, didn’t I? If I didn’t, I should have. I’m currently directing a play that opens November 1 (Dearly Departed, Rock Hill Community Theatre – if you live around Charlotte, come see it!) and I am behind deadline on a short story. Plus last night I had to write a wedding. 

You heard me. 

I’m officiating my cousin’s wedding this weekend, so I had to write that ceremony last night. 

Yes, I do weddings. And a belated shout-out to my most awesome co-editor and serial MW commentor Emily “pea_fairie” Leverett on her nuptials. Congrats, y’all!

But that’s not what’s on my mind this week, and since I’m short-handed at the office and up to my eyeballs in several projects, I’m giving you the cop-out post. Here’s an excerpt from Paint it Black, Volume 4 of The Black Knight Chronicles, that released on Tuesday. This is the first new Black Knight Chronicles book in over two years, and I’m so thrilled to have it out there. I’m really pleased with how it turned out, and I hope y’all will enjoy it, too! 

Here’s a little bit from the opening. 

OKAY, I’LL ADMIT it. I was brooding. And not just the lay-in-the-
recliner-staring-at-a-blank-TV-screen-with-REM’s-Everybody-Hurts-on-r
epeat-on-the-stereo brooding. We’re talking full-on, sitting on top of a
mausoleum in the rain at midnight, wearing a trench coat and no hat
kind of brooding. The kind of brooding that makes preteen girls swoon
and RuPaul question your masculinity.
I was drunk, too. And given the peculiarities of my metabolism
these days, that’s saying something. The bottles scattered around my feet
ratted me out to the tune of a handle of Bacardi 151, two pints of Jim
Beam, half a gallon of Patrón, and a mason jar of something clear with
the consistency and taste of lighter fluid. Without exaggeration, you
could say I was having a rough night. Then my phone rang, which any
idiot would realize only presented the opportunity to make the night
much, much worse. And in a monumental display of poor judgment, I
answered it.
“Yeah?” I slurred. You know you’re blitzed when you slur the
monosyllables.
“Jimmy?” Sabrina Law’s voice came through the little speaker.
She sounded very far away, and I realized I was holding the phone
upside down. I righted the ship, so to speak, and said, “Most days. Jury’s
still out for tonight, though.”
“Are you drunk?” Despite seeing me consume enough beer to float
a party barge, Sabrina had never seen me drunk.
“If I’m not I have wasted a lot of liquor. What can I do to you,
Detective? Wait. What can I do for you? Sorry.”
“I need your particular perspective. I’ll send a car. Sounds like
you’re in no condition to drive.”
“That’s true enough. And besides, I don’t have a car here anyway.”
“How did you get there?”
“I think I walked. Or maybe I stole a car. Oops. Probably shouldn’t
say that to an officer of the law. No, now I remember. I mojo’d a hippie
into giving me a ride. Then I sent him home. And before you ask, I did

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5 comments to Audacious idea – one week later

  • Deb S

    I second your congratulations to Emily. Yay! Also, thanks for the excerpt. It hooked me, and the mc’s voice really came through.

  • Thank you for the well wishes! And, that excerpt is awesome! Looking forward to reading the book!

  • Hugs to Pea-Emily!!!

    John, you always do the best openings. Can you break this one down for your next post so we can see how you did it?

  • Love it. Seriously, please do give us a break down how you took a major cliche of the genre (brooding vampire in the rain in a cemetery!) and made it work so well. I want to be able to do that. (And a friendly screw you for the earworm too. Now I have that song in my head.)

  • Julia

    Thanks for a great excerpt, John! I hope you talk Faith’s request to talk more about openings…. And congratulations, Emily!