I just finished Chapter 3 of a new collaborative serial novel that will kick off the “Las Vegas Writes” event at the Vegas Valley Book Festival in early November. It’s the type of project in which each author contributes a chapter and passes it on to the next, who then picks up the story line and characters but writes it in his or her own style. It’s been done in other markets before. “Naked Came the Manatee” comes to mind, a hoot of a book featuring South Florida writers like Dave Barry and Carl Hiaasen. But this is a first for Las Vegas.
I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun (which may or may not be sad). I got lucky because the two writers before me, H. Lee Barnes and John Irsfeld, gave me plenty of cool noir material to work with. Believe me, these guys are good. I’m honored to be in their company. I ended my chapter on a cliff hanger, with a dead body and our hero in way over his head. I’m sure Leah Bailly, who writes Chapter 4, will enjoy the challenge. After that, it’s John L. Smith (my favorite columnist), Constance Ford and Vu Tran, who gets to figure out the mystery and wrap everything up.
I can’t wait to see how it ends.