Land of Entrapment: a chat with Andi’s characters

Hey, peeps! As some of you know, my first mystery, the Goldie-winning Land of Entrapment, is no longer available new. It has eased into retirement, like a lot of books do, and it did so with not much fanfare.
LoE for website

So what does this mean?

Well, besides that it’s no longer available new?

It also means I’m rebooting it! I’m going to re-do it, add some things, take some things out, spruce up the cover, and make it all shiny again. It’s been about 10 years since I wrote it, and I’ve learned a few things about writing since (I like to think), so I’m going to give it a makeover. And I’ll be doing the same thing with State of Denial, the second in the series. So if you haven’t read that one, I strongly recommend you do before November, 2015. Hint hint hinty hint.

And, of course, I thought it might be a good idea to check in with the NM posse. You know. K.C., Sage, Chris, and Dayna. I’ve chatted with them in the past (hit the links on their names for those), and I wanted their thoughts on these latest developments. They were gracious enough to come by to give them. Here’s how the conversation went.

Andi: [opens door] Hey, guys! Wow. It’s been a while. [KC is wearing jeans and a tee, Chris is wearing business casual — black trousers and a light blue shirt]

K.C.: [gives me a big hug] And of course we’re not going to kill the messenger…

Chris: [also gives me a hug] Speak for yourself, Kase. [she gives me a mild cop glare but finishes it with a wink]

Andi: Yikes. Before you do that, come in and have some coffee. Or beer. Whatever. [Chris and KC settle themselves on the couch opposite me]

K.C.: Coffee.

Chris: The same. Only because you make really good coffee.

Andi: It’s all Sage. She taught me. Speaking of —

K.C.: On her way.

Chris: Dayna had a lawyer thing. She’ll be a little late.

[knock on the door]

Andi: Come in! [Sage bursts in, followed by whatever mystical ju-ju she travels with. She’s dressed in a lightweight flowing blue skirt and a black tee.]

Sage: Crank up the damn coffee, woman. We have some planning to do.

[laughter]

Sage: Dayna was actually right behind me. [She gives KC a kiss then takes one of the other chairs, positioned so she can look at both the couch and at me.]

Dayna: Here. Oh, are we doing coffee? Nice. Bring it, Marquette. [she sits on the couch between Chris and KC, gives Chris a kiss; Dayna is also dressed in business casual — gray slacks and a deep red blouse.]

Andi: On it.

[four cups filled, got the half-and-half, cocoa and cinnamon, sugar for whoever wants it. Everybody doctors their coffee and I sit back, waiting.]

Andi: All right, guys. Let’s get right to it. We’ve known this was coming, and we all knew that we needed to think about rebooting and what that might look like.

K.C.: Hold up. I want to process, dammit. This feels weird. I’m kind of caught between grief and being okay with change, but it’s still…weird.

Sage: It’s okay to grieve. We spent ten years with Andi in that book. It’s part of our collective past.

Dayna: Shit. We might actually need to crack a bottle of wine.

[laughter]

Andi: Okay, let’s do that. Nothing wrong with coffee and wine. Writing staples, in some quarters. Be right back.

[gets the wine, brings the glasses, sets everything on the coffee table, which is starting to look like the Women and Words merry elves had a party on it.]

Chris: I’m in this place where I get that change happens. We all know that it does. We see it every day. But I have to admit, when Land went dark, it was a little unsettling.

Dayna: [stage whisper] Don’t mention State‘s timeline… [Sage giggles]

Chris: No, seriously. It was…bittersweet. We had a great run, and yes, Andi is in better control of her craft and I’m looking forward to seeing what the reboot brings, but it’s like saying goodbye to an old friend. Kase?

K.C.: I’m not entirely sure how I feel. That was my entry into the world, and it was intense and full of crazy in a lot of different ways, but it was exactly as it should have been at that time.

Sage: It’s not often that you get a chance to reboot. I’m actually excited about this, because it will offer Andi a chance to go through with a slightly different vision. Years change perspectives, and that can be a really valuable thing. I trust that she’ll stay true to the original story — [raises an eyebrow at me] — but she’ll be able to add some things and take some things out and create new paths through the narrative. I think, too, she’ll have some cool things to say about us, now that she’s spent so much time with us. [gives me one of her smiles]

Dayna: I feel the same way. I really like what Andi did with K.C. and Sage and I had no idea what I was getting into when I walked on in State [squeezes Chris’s knee affectionately], but I knew there was something special going on between all of us, and something special in the stories that Andi unraveled. I do understand not wanting to let go of the first incarnation of Land, since it’s where Sage made her debut, too, and it’s where K.C. faced some demons, but I think ten years gives a writer new eyes, and I think the reboot will do you all justice. I’m looking forward to it.

Chris: I’m trying to take that view of the future of State, too. Fortunately, Dayna keeps telling me it’s going to be all right, that Andi won’t screw it up.

K.C.: You totally wanted to say “fuck it up” there.

[laughter]

Chris: I did. But I’m trying to be pragmatic and restrained.

K.C.: You’re among friends, Detective Keep-It-Together. Let it all hang out.

Chris: Fine. I don’t think Andi will fuck it up. Right? [she looks at me]

Andi: The pressure! [sips coffee] You guys, you mean the world to me. You were the first novels I published. I will never forget that, and it’s sort of a sacred thing to me, this journey we’ve been on together. But in order to move forward, we need to bring the past full circle. It makes no sense to continue publishing books in this series if it’s impossible for readers to get the first few books new.

Dayna: [finishes her coffee] She’s right. In a purely business sense, half a series on the market isn’t logical.

K.C.: Look at Dayna, gettin’ all Mr. Spock up in here. May he rest in peace. Okay, so what do you intend to do? [she gives me a look]

Andi: Well, I’m going to open the file that has the most recent version — and that’s about 9 years old — and I’m going to go through it. I’m going to treat it as a draft and tweak/re-write/re-tool/remove/add things, which is part of my process, anyway. There won’t necessarily be massive major surgery, but there will be cuts. And there will be new things.

Sage: As it should be. You told me once that you see everything you write as a draft. Even the stuff you publish. Because, you said, you can go back six months later, a year later, a couple years later and you will see things differently and you will think that oh, you should’ve done X here or Y here. I actually think that’s a healthy way to look at your work. [sips her coffee] Might be a healthy way to look at life. [K.C. smiles at her]

Andi: I mean, I don’t want to suggest that I don’t put heart and soul into what I write. Just because I view things as drafts doesn’t mean I put half-ass effort into it.

Sage: I know. I do think, however, that it’s healthy to see even polished products as something that might, some day, benefit from a do-over. I feel the same way about my photography. I’ll capture a moment, print it onto different papers, and think about just minute differences in lighting and timing. Everything can be subject to change.

Andi: And I’m not going to gut the hell out of this series. That’s not the plan. And I don’t intend to lose the flavor of either the plotlines or the characters, but as Sage says, I have different eyes now than I did 10 years ago and I will excise some things and add others.

Chris: What about addressing time change?

Andi: Yeah. About that —

K.C.: Oh, my God, that just totally freaks me out, wrapping my brain around the different space-time continuum in real time versus time in a series. I mean, it can take a year or more to write a mystery and then get it published. Then you do the next one, and for the characters in the book, it’s only been a few months, if that, but in real time, it’s been a few years. Head. Just exploded. [gestures at her head, laughter]

Sage: That is an interesting conundrum. How do you plan to bring us into real time?

Andi: I haven’t fully decided yet. I think I’ll definitely make the reboot a little more contemporary. After all, there’s marriage equality now in New Mexico —

Dayna: Right? And when you originally wrote Land of Entrapment, it was, what? 2007?

K.C.: Whoa. I feel old. [Sage giggles and Chris stifles a laugh behind her coffee cup rim]

Andi: [gives her a glare] True. So even though time in the series has only been a matter of maybe a year or two, real time is a completely different matter. So the reboots will have to address current contemporary events. [gives K.C. a wicked grin] And you, of course, can start thinking about marriage. You, too, Chris.

K.C.: Uh…

Chris: Uh…

[Sage laughs]

Dayna: [also laughing] It might be best to reboot Land of Entrapment maybe a year or two before that. Which will change some of the tenor of the subplots, but it’s doable. And it also opens interesting possibilities and pressures in relationships. [gives Chris a LOOK; Chris is suddenly very interested in her coffee]

Sage: Perhaps you can make that a more prominent issue in book 5, which I know you’ll do once you have the reboots published. It is, of course, relevant to the context in which you’ve got us interacting.

Dayna: But things could change again come June. There might be nationwide marriage equality then.

K.C.: Still, if she reboots Land and State as a couple of years before marriage equality in New Mexico, whatever gets decided this year isn’t relevant to those plotlines. [looks at me] So basically, you’re writing both contemporary fiction but also slightly historical fiction.

Andi: [laughs] “Slightly historical fiction.” Is that like “slightly paranormal” or “slightly thriller-ish”? Can I use that in the blurb? “Slightly historical fiction.”

Sage: Everything we do is slightly historical fiction. Whatever I say now becomes obsolete the moment I say it. [takes another sip of her coffee, expression angelic]

K.C.: Whoa.

Dayna: Damn.

Chris: Okay, before we get sucked into one of Sage’s vortexes — not that there’s anything wrong with her vortexes — is there anything we need to address before Andi starts the reboot?

K.C.: I think we all have our thoughts on the directions we’d like her to take, but also the things we’d like her to keep, maybe re-tooled. We can do that during the reboot process. It is cool, though, to get together like this and hang out. And on that note, I think we should celebrate. [grabs the bottle of wine and opens it]

Sage: I agree. Change is inevitable. The only choice we have is how we’re going to deal with it.

[K.C. pours wine into the glasses, hands one to each of us]

Dayna: [raises her glass; the rest of us do, too] To Land of Entrapment. A great run and a good retirement.

K.C.: Second that.

Chris: Third.

Sage: Absolutely.

[we all clink our glasses together]

Sage: I think this is going to be freaking fun. [grins]

Chris: Hell, it has been so far. Don’t screw it up, Marquette.

[laughter]

Andi: How can I? I’ve got the four of you to keep me in line. So let’s see what the next road brings. Cheers, everybody.

—–
Yes, my friends, change can be scary. It’s been almost 10 years since I finished writing Land of Entrapment, and I’m not going to fib and tell you I’m not a little sad about seeing it come off the market. It’s my first published novel, and I have a sentimental attachment to it. I have mixed feelings at the moment. I’m proud of it and proud of what it’s accomplished, but I do have a little bit of grief as it eases into retirement.

I’m looking forward to the reboot, but I’m also a little nervous about it. Which is probably good. It’ll keep me on my toes.

So, dear readers, I hope you stay tuned for what I’m calling Land of Entrapment 2.0. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m hoping to have it ready summer of 2016. I also have a bunch of other projects in the works, and I’ll let you know about those in good time. I’ll sum up what’s going on in my world with the following: change. Lots of it. But change can be good. 😉

Happy Friday, all. May you all have a groovy weekend.

And may you all have some tunes to listen to. Here’s the Land of Entrapment playlist, available on Spotify:

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6 thoughts on “Land of Entrapment: a chat with Andi’s characters

  1. Enjoyed the conversation with your characters – hope they don’t find the reboot too traumatic. You may need to stock up on wine.

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