Sleuthing Snowdon Shadows

Where is Detective Sparkle Anwyl of the North Wales Police heading?

Or rather where do I start her story? What comes first? The goth teenager or the quirky detective?

For the Blogging from A to Z April (2019) Challenge, I wrote a 19,000 word Sparkle story in twenty-six parts – Azure Spark. It is a standalone case that some readers have said I should publish as a novella. However, that throws up some complications.

First complication: although Sparkle & Co., resolved the Azure Spark case, an arson investigation was left ongoing – my ‘O for Obstruction’ post,  for the bi-monthly WEP/IWSG Challenge. April’s theme was ‘Jewel Box’ which became the name of the torched gift shop. Initially, I planned to continue the investigation with the June theme, ‘Caged Bird’ and then in the three subsequent WEG/IWSG posts, culminating with ‘Footprints’ in December. But that means holding back Azure Spark’. Doesn’t it?

Or I can write that arson case now as a ‘bonus’ incident.

Second complication: backstory. I can add a few pieces of backstory in ‘Azure Spark’ when I re-draft the story. What do readers need to know? Why did Sparkle become a cop? How did she meet her lover, Kama? However, all these incidents exist as short stories. Sparkle’s backstory unfolded as various shorts I developed as a collection with a framing investigation for NaNoWriMo 2018, titled “Fevered Few” – including a case I wrote for the WEP/IWSG Challenge last year.

What do readers want now?

Third complication: ‘Azure Spark’ references a key case in ‘Fevered Few’but in a way I hope gives all that the reader requires. Or does the case need more detail? How much detail is too much? Or should ‘Azure Spark’ be part of the collection?

Okay, my gut feeling is that ‘Azure Spark’ the novella is my starting point. Test the water/market with that, then continue with the other Sparkle Anwyl stories.

Do you, dear reader, agree?

I intended ‘Fevered Few’ to be the opening of Snowdon Shadows, a series of mystery novels set around Snowdonia in North Wales. However, in the beginning of that WIP, Sparkle doesn’t know she’s a policewoman – or Heddlu as the Welsh police are called. Amnesia is the antagonist blocking her memories of her first cases and more. So, ‘Fevered Few’ was the start of the series – before April 2019’s A to Z Challenge.

I also have three novels to complete in order: “Fates Maelstrom”, “Seeking A Knife”, and “Ruined Retreat”. I’ve drafted FM five times, SAK is still incomplete, and RR was my 2018 NaNoWriMo novel (draft one).

So how do I make ‘Azure Spark’ fit into the release schedule?

Does anyone want to read more?

15 thoughts on “Sleuthing Snowdon Shadows

  1. Not sure what to advise you though I think some advice I heard from C.S. Forester appearing on the Groucho Marx game show from back in the fifties. He said the best advice he would give to authors is to just write. Thinking back on Forester’s output as an author he wrote something like 12 books about Horatio Hornblower so you might be able to do something similar.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 2 people

    • As a Hornblower fan growing up, I grin at that advice, Arlee. I may not always win my naval battles – Ancient Greek ones gaming – but I can aim at publishing 12+ books about Sparkle Anwyl. So, I better get the first out pronto.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I must go back and read this series. Or maybe, I’ll wait until you publish the novella. 🙂 Seems like the most straightforward solution, and some of us don’t have a previous frame of reference.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I suspect I will eventually publish, Debbie – when I find the time and tougher still, the money. If you have patience, wait. If you want to share more wise thoughts before I commit the words to the world, follow the link to Act One. Many thanks.


  3. I’d say that all the reader need is everything that explains that particular story. All the rest can be left to speculation… especially when there are other stories that add to the one you are telling.
    Personally, I do think that less is more. When we know our characters well, we will always put more than we know into their stories and readers will catch that. I love reading this kind of stories, where the author leaves enough clues to me to piece up by myself 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: #IWSG – Co-Author Search | Writing Wings

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