When Writers Worry That They Have “Lost it.”

There is something not right about my current book in progress, and it is driving me crazy.  I've written about a dozen books, and I envisioned this one being my best in the true crime genre.  I tried a more journalistic approach, putting things in the context of how America in general, and Texas in particular, handles homicides committed by those who teeter on the brink of "competent to stand trial."   So far, at the request of my editor, I've done a complete restructuring of the book, and still it doesn't "sing."

Tomorrow I'm calling "headquarters" – the executive editor — and consulting on what I need to do to make this baby at least hum. The story is super; the characters fascinating.  Somewhere along the line I've lost the forward momentum.  I have faith that it will all come together, but I've had my moments of professional doubt.  I think it's the self-doubt that bothers me most of all.  This isn't my first book, or even my fifth book. Why is this one fighting me?   Have I lost it, or simply lost sight of what works best in the genre?  Whatever the answer, I'm determined to transform this book into one of my best. In time, you will be the final judge. The title is Fatal Beauty, and it will see publication sometime in 2010.  By the time it hits the shelves, it will be the book I had in mind, only better. 

In the meantime, my New York Times best seller, Murder in the Family, has been re-released. Strangely enough, it was my first "serious" true crime book, and was far easier to write than the one I'm working on now.  Let's all visualize Fatal Beauty being every bit as good as Murder in the Family.

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