My villain is torturing me…
As I reported last time, the first draft of the third and final Johnny Graphic novel was wrapped up a few months ago. I did a second draft and I’m now doing battle with the third draft. This one is the toughest so far, because I thought I would try making my antagonist—Percival Gorton Rathbone—a bit less evil than he was in the first two stories. I want to get him out of black-and-white and into shades of gray. Because even the most dastardly villain believes he has good reasons for doing what he does.
Well, it isn’t easy making someone like Percy sympathetic. I’m struggling to find the perfect balance—I’ve already redone his first chapter seven or eight times.
Fortunately, in between my battles with Percy, I’ve made progress on the fourth Mary MacDougall mystery. I’m about a quarter of the way through a first draft. After sending Mary to Upper Michigan in the last book, this time around I’m having my sleuthing heiress operate entirely in her hometown of Duluth, Minnesota. It’s late September, 1902. And as Mary tackles her first modest cases as a professional detective—stolen silver napkin rings, lost cats—she can’t resist sticking her nose in the matter of a drowning. Was it accidental? Or not?