Today I am thankful for all of the blessings I have received and the people who have lifted me up or pushed me in the back to keep going. Ten years ago I knew I needed to make many changes in my life, but making writing my career was only a dream. To the people who backstopped me as I fumbled around trying to get to this place today, you are the gravy, the dressing, the cranberry, and the pie with fresh whipped topping of my life. The Kirkus Reviews I (we) received yesterday are the affirmation that it was all worth it, that you were right to stand by and behind me, to hold me up, to calm me when I forgot that there was a plan greater than me. Those who smoothed the waters of my troubled life are my greatest earthly treasure. God is good.
I have written 3,500 words in the past eighteen hours, roughing out the ending of my first stand alone novel, Severance. These characters have been stewing in my mind for several years and they are ready. It feels like I had them in a crockpot, simmering away. All of the ingredients where in there, I guess I just needed to stir it around a bit, before I could write the first paragraphs—really getting the flavor of the story right.
The end came to me recently, I was playing around with it in my head for the past couple of weeks, waiting impatiently for the words to come, but after kayaking on the Cedar River yesterday, soaking in the sun, feeling the frigid snowmelt water with my bare hands and feet, I was ready to write it out. Tears welled in my eyes as I typed the final lines. I could feel the survivors’ pain, joy, and heartfelt desire to make something new from what had been lost. I wish I could share more with you, but it will be some time before it winds its way through the edit process and publishing. I will keep you posted.
I am working on the manuscript for Control, Volume III of The Betty Chronicles. Like Lee Child, I do not plot out my novels in advance, though I do think of major points that may or may not end up in the story depending how the writing goes. To be fair, after writing my initial thoughts of a story, usually a 2,000 word essay on characters and conflicts, I rarely look over the notes again.
I just finished a chapter that is a major pivot point in several relationships. I would say more, but it would be a spoiler. I sit here with a smug smile on my face knowing that a couple of threads that have been hanging loose for a very long time are now woven properly into the story, at just the right point. You will know it when you read it. #Betty #Tom #Howell #Ernesto
Hal’s review of Power is well reasoned and thoughtful. Thank you, Hal!
Fasten your seat belt, this is a wild and wonderful ride. As the plot thickens, it twists and turns in clever ways that you could never anticipate, and that makes it a powerfully fun read. The more Mahler reveals to us about the people and powers in this story, the more you become aware that you really have no idea where this tale might lead….but you will really, really want to know what happens next.
As the story gets more complex Mahler’s writing style becomes clearer and more elegant. He is particularly masterful at developing the characters….you will love or hate each of them at some point, and Mahler does a great job of teaching us to trust no one. By the end of “Power” you will be guarding your emotions about each and every character in the book. Add to that the fact that Mahler has constructed a complex web of dates, times and places that will truly impress you with his ability to walk a razor thin line that does not allow for a single detail to be out of place. Go read “Money” if you have not already done so, then dive into “Power”. If you dare!