by Betsy Ashton
In the beginning of a new series, several different things have to come together. First the story needs a strong main character. Next it needs a plot with conflict. Third it has to have interesting secondary characters. And fourth, but not last, the story must move the reader toward the conclusion.
Those who've read my current book know that I like opinionated, often snarky, women as main characters. This WIP has an alpha male at center stage. He's not a chest pounding, knuckle dragging, hard drinking Federal law enforcement officer. He's a widower with a four-year-old daughter and a sister who lives with him to help take care of the child. Because he works for the government, he's often moved around for different assignments. His new challenge is to lead a law enforcement team requiring coordination among several state, local and Federal agencies. Therein lies part of the plot and the conflict.
This male is also a stranger in a strange land. His current transfer is from his home in Northern California to a mid-Southern city. He knows virtually nothing about his new city. He is also a minority in a place where his ethnicity is unusual. He looks at the people on the streets, in the markets, at public events and finds little that is familiar. (No, he's not from a foreign planet, but he might as well be. Few of his "people" make this city their home.) He has to learn not to gawk at people. Conflict #2: How does he help his daughter and sister fit into school and neighborhood when no one looks like them?
Daughter and sister are part of the supporting cast of characters. Their feelings about being uprooted, about losing a mother and sister-in-law, about looking different and about having different accents work to give them depth. Throw in local law enforcement officers at the state and local level, add a couple of Federal agents from other task forces. Stir.
Put these folks in peril from the bad guys. Stir again.
What do you think? Would you read something like this?
Betsy Ashton is the author of Mad Max Unintended Consequences available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The second book in the series, Uncharted Territory, will be released in June 2015. She lives for words and writing.