• Fran Stewart

418,054 to Beat GWTW

I’m down to the final 25,017 words still to be written in my WHITE AS ICE quartet of books. How do I know that?

I’ve always wanted to write a book that was longer than Gone With the Wind. And although WHITE AS ICE is going to be published in four separate volumes, with each book coming out one month after the previous one, they still are meant to be read as one big book.

Gone With the Wind has 418,053 words. If I have anything to say about it, WHITE AS ICE is going to have at least 418,054 words. Naturally, the final count will depend on just what else I write in order to wrap up this story that’s been evolving slowly over the past number of years.

Did I decide to write that long a book when I first started WHITE AS ICE? Well, no. It’s just that as the story evolved, as the women in the attic kept finding more and more artifacts, I simply got drawn into telling the history behind each of those items. The generations of characters began to interweave. The book gradually got longer and longer. And a couple of extra murders cropped up -- ones that I hadn’t planned on originally.

WHITE AS IC puts my characters in a huge ice storm in Martinsville GA, the fictional town of my Biscuit McKee Mystery Series. I remember plenty of snow (and ice) from long ago when I lived in Vermont. This photo, taken by Brent McGrady, brings back the sort of memories I had to draw on as I've written WHITE AS ICE.

So here I am now with a spreadsheet that says I can finish the book(s) within about six weeks. Then there will be the final beta-reads, the final tweaks, the final fixes.

Then to my publisher, then check the galleys, approve the cover designs, and set the launch dates.

With the major publishing companies (the big New York Six), it can take a year or more between delivery of the final manuscript and the publication date. With a smaller press, that lead time is shortened greatly.

We’re getting closer!

This weekend I’ll be sending out another chapter preview to anyone who’s signed up for my newsletter (you can do that on the home page of this website).

After that, there may be time for only one more newsletter advance chapter.

I’m getting very excited about this. I hope you are too!

#BiscuitMcKeeMysteries #WHITEASICE #GWTW