In 2003, I pitched a novel I’d written eight years before to my then-publisher, about a member of law enforcement who wasn’t quite what he appeared, and a skeptical pathologist with a disdain for the paranormal.
I was told it would never work the way I’d written it, because the characters were too different. My editor at the time tore the book apart and put it back together the way she thought it should be, removing large chunks of the most valuable character development and interaction, and essentially turning it into a completely different book (complete with different character names and professions) I was none-too-happy with.
Now, over a decade later, I’m a great deal wiser about the industry. I know the characters work as I originally wrote them (I always believed so). While working on other current projects, I worked on returning the book to its original context (I did update the timeline from the 1990’s to 2014, with all the technological updates to go with it). The book is now completed, and will be released by Desert Breeze Publishing on October 11.
In the meantime, I thought I’d share a little bit of what was removed with you… 🙂
“Manhunt for a Monster” – Excerpt from SIGHT UNSEEN (Guardians, Inc: Witch Hollow, Book 1):
His cell phone rang, jolting his attention from his recently departed visitor. Punching talk with his thumb, he lifted the device to his ear. “Caulder.”
“I thought you were on a manhunt.”
“I was. I am. But I’m not sure he’s a man, anymore.”
There was a pause. Then, “I think you got his attention.”
Jonathan frowned at the tone of his boss and friend’s voice. Damion George didn’t beat around the bush like this. He wouldn’t even call unless it was necessary. Necessary, with Damion, meant either Crucibani or demons. Given his choice of words, Damion obviously knew which, too.
“You know who it is, don’t you?”
The sound of papers being shuffled around carried through the line, then Damion sighed.
“We don’t have any reports of Para activity in that area, if that’s what you mean. At least…” There was a pregnant pause.
“At least what?”
Another pause, another sigh. “You’re not going to like it.”
“Well, Witch Hollow’s notorious for various Para activity. There are several Paras located up there.”
“Why do I hear a ‘but’ in there?”
“The Paras in that area aren’t the problem. Not exactly.”
Jonathan’s heart sank. He knew it. From the moment Mac identified his description of Ramsey Parrish’s murderer, he knew he’d located the bastard. “Hailatus.”
” ‘Fraid so. You don’t sound surprised.”
“Someone’s already been here about him. A Dr. Faith MacKenzie.”
“She didn’t ask about him by name. She came for help solving a murder. She says there was a faint smell of incense at the crime scene — I still haven’t determined what kind. The perp didn’t leave any other accidental clues, and no one saw him.”
“The latest alias I was able to uncover for him is Rene Haley. Some kind of businessman, from what I was able to find.”
“Damn.” Jonathan scrubbed a hand over his face, anxiety gnawing at him.
“What’s the matter, Jon? I’d think you’d be happy we finally tracked him down.”
Normally, that would be true. Any other time, under any other circumstances, he’d be relieved to finally have a bead on the monster of his father’s making. But if Hailatus was involved in Ramsey Parrish’s murder, things were about to get complicated, quickly.
“I’ll have to get back to you.”
Another silence, punctuated by the click of computer keys. “All right, I’ll keep an eye on things. Meanwhile, see if you can pick up anything you don’t have to report to the Bureau, if you get my drift. And keep me posted on what you find out.”
Jonathan signed off with an affirmative, and tossed the cell phone on the coffee table as he plopped down on the sofa. Great. This just kept getting better and better.