November 29, 2013

Around midnight this morning I submitted my novel to the NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) website and had it validated. Since November 1st I wrote not one novel, but three in a series. My first draft for all three is 584 pages with 155,814 words.

307,434 writers participated in November. Imagine the novels written in just one month!

When I began I didn't think I'd make it to 50,000, but the words flew from my fingertips. This book must have been inside me for a long time and it wanted out.

I was fortunate in 2010 to be able to travel to London, Paris and Rome, and those three magnificent cities were the background for my stories. My novels are: Dru & Darcy - National Intrigue - Book I - The London Incident -/- Book II - Peril in Paris -/- Book III - Danger in Rome.

My protagonists were a sixteen year old girl named Dru and her boyfriend, seventeen year old Darcy. They were members of a tour group and that is how they met. In London they were chased by two men who wanted a stolen govenment flash drive that ended up in Dru's hands. The teens met trouble everywhere they went, in the Tower of London, a Pub near their hotel, and on the London Eye where they witnessed a murder. The killer tied them up in Darcy's hotel room. Using their wits, they managed to escape and save the flash drive, which contained a list of government spies. Dru discovered her father was on the list, and now she must keep his secret. With The London Incident behind them, the teens prepare to leave on the Euro train to Paris, the next city on their tour detination. Before boarding the train, a stranger slips a cryptic message in Dru's jacket pocket.

While on the Euro train to Paris, a man dies in front of Dru. He was stabbed in the back. Before he died he whispered something in her ear and now Dru and her boyfriend Darcy try to figure out what he meant. The killer follows them around Paris, from Notre Dame to the Palace of Versailles and the Louvre. The teens meet the murdered man's brother, Pierre, and he joins them in solving his brother's riddle. The famous Parisian model, Monique, also helps them. They find a safe filled with famous paintings that were stolen by the Nazis in World War II, but the killer also finds them. A series of twists and turns eventually lead to the killer being caught and the paintings restored to their rightful owners or their heirs. The Peril in Paris is over, and Dru and Darcy enjoy a scenic cruise on the Seine. At the airport to Rome, however, a new mystery begins.

While at the airport in Paris, Darcy buys Dru a necklace with what he believes are glass stones and cubic zirconica. The necklace actually has real diamonds and emeralds and is worth twelve million dollars. The man who stole it, Antonio, now wants it back and he follows them all around Rome trying to get it. While at the Spanish Steps, this thief murders his accomplice and Dru and Darcy are witnesses. They have harrowing experiences at the Vatican, the Coliseum and near the Trevi Fountain, but each time manage to escape and keep the necklace safe. Dru's father has a guard watching Dru, as he is using his daughter as bait to catch the thief. The teens are shocked to learn that their friendly tour director, Basal, is the ringleader of the jewelry heist, and he and Antonio plan on killing the them after getting the necklace. Darcy and Dru manage to overpower both men and tie them up, and Dru's father hauls them to jail and returns the necklace to its owner. The Danger in Rome is over and Dru leaves Rome with her parents, believing she will never see Darcy again. He surprises her on the plane and tells her that he and his parents are moving to Boston where she lives, so they can be together forever.

Though this series is done, I believe my two main characters have more stories to tell, perhaps when they return to Paris for Pierre and Monique's wedding, or perhaps on another trip to Edinburg, Scotland and Dublin, Ireland, two other cities I have visited. This may be next year's writing project for NaNoWriMo.