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What are local writers working on?

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Local writer Vicki Pettersson
Photo: Scott Den Herder

VICKI PETTERSSON (Signs of the Zodiac series.) Having just finished edits on Cheat the Grave, the fifth book in my urban fantasy Signs of the Zodiac series, I’m now beginning to feel my way into the sixth. I’m charting the beginning and end, along with the key plot points. Once I’ve charted the scenes and events that most interest me, the rest of the story gathers around them like a storm, and I’m ready to write.

JOHN IRSFELD (Little Kingdoms, Rats Alley, Radio Elvis and Other Stories, Night Moves and more) I can report that I have a footlocker full of book manuscripts which I am methodically but not very rapidly rewriting to send off to Charleston, South Carolina, as I did my recent book Night Moves, to publish as sure-enough books for my grandson to put on his bookshelf some day, should he choose. I am also trying to finish in a satisfactory fashion a short story that I have been working on for four years. Finally, I have a new story, “Drifting Too Far,” in the most recent issue of New South, a fine journal out of Georgia State University.

BRIAN ROUFF (Dice Angel, Money Shot) I’m collaborating on a screenplay with local filmmaker Wolfgang Muchow. It’s the story of five strangers whose lives intersect in Las Vegas during the course of one night. I’m also working on a Las Vegas-based haunted-house novel. And (gratuitous plug) I’m blogging a couple times a week at brianrouff.com.

RICHARD WILEY (Soldiers in Hiding, Festival for 3,000 Maidens, Ahmed’s Revenge, Commodore Perry’s Minstrel Show and others.) I’m hard at work on a new novel ... 10 or so months in, and, for the first time in decades am also writing stories. I’ve written or am in the process of writing nine of them. They are great fun, have their own intrinsic difficulties, but don’t let the pure story writers tell you they’re harder than novels, because they’re not. Ingrained in them is a great benevolence—they’re short!

Robyn Carr

ROBYN CARR (Virgin River series and others) I’m totally embroiled in adding books to the Virgin River series, women’s fiction/romance, because the series has taken off like a rocket. I’ve just released a novella with the same setting and characters and have three more Virgin River novels scheduled to come out in January, February and March of 2010. Then three more in 2011 and again in 2012. If I’m counting right, and I’m almost too busy writing to be counting, we’re up to 17 contracted for this series. In addition, I’ll be publishing two stand-alone mainstream women’s fiction in the next couple of years—both of which are finished and in production. The first will come in July 2010.

DOUG UNGER (Leaving the Land, Looking for War: Stories, The Turkey War and more.) I just completed a screenplay adaptation of What It Used To Be Like: A Portrait of My Marriage to Raymond Carver, by Maryann Carver, for director Richard Pearce. I’m currently at work on the fourth draft of a comic novel about an actor’s life, Acting Is Believing, and on completing the first draft of a long new novel, Healing Your Life. In addition, he is completing a series of essays on the craft of writing fiction, the most recent of which, “On Inspiration: Thomas Wolfe, Jorge Luis Borges, Raymond Carver,” was just published in the October/November issue of the AWP Writers’ Chronicle.

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