Operation Shadow Box: The Author Speaks

OSBwebThe main characters in Operation Shadow Box have spoken. Now, as author, it’s my turn. In today’s post, I’ve picked five questions that I might receive from readers about Operation Shadow Box.

1. How long did it take you to write Operation Shadow Box?

That’s a great question because my answer would be, “It depends.” If you’re talking about from the start of the concept until production, the answer would be years, probably almost seven years. The initial draft of the manuscript was a spin-off from a manuscript that will never be published. I worked on that spin-off as I was learning how to draft a novel and manage a plot and characters. If you’re talking about the most recent draft that led to the book, about a year or so from re-draft until it came out.

2. What was the hardest part about writing Operation Shadow Box?

The hardest part was writing the subplot between Rachel and Victor. Rachel had died before the storyline started, and at first I tried to recreate their relationship through showing her journal entries. I quickly discovered that writing out the journal entries to the extent I did bogged down the plot. I cut more and more. Then, when I reimagined the whole plot to separate it completely from the manuscript from which it spun off, I totally recreated her character. Now, Rachel was not some golden girl who was perfect (read, boring) but a complex woman with complex problems. She drew Victor into her web and took him down with her.

3. What was the most fun part about writing the novel?

I loved putting the team together. That’s a harder task than it seems, as the personalities can’t all click or can’t all be antagonistic. I think it also takes a certain amount of experience to put eight people together like that. After years of working at it, I think I finally came up with a good formula.

4. With which character do you identify the most?

That’s a hard question. I like aspects of many of them. But the character with whom I most identify is probably Deborah. While I’m not a mom, I’m a patriot. I have a full life, and like Deborah, I wish there were some way I could more effectively serve my country.

5. How did you determine what themes Operation Shadow Box would have?

Normally, I say that the themes spring out of the plot and the characters. The Last Chance series is a little different, as is Operation Shadow Box. This particular novel focuses on the Beatitude regarding mourning. But it’s not mourning the loss of someone but more of mourning our fallen state. Still, I couched that theme in the way that Victor mourns Rachel’s passing.

Question: What other questions would you like to ask about Operation Shadow Box?

I have not received any compensation for writing this post. The work mentioned in this post is of my own writing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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