Thunderstorms, Skimming the Swamp and Steamboat Days: Mid-May Update

5-17-2016_weatherHi Folks,

Hope you’re enjoying late spring. We’re having a wonderful evening thunderstorm in Tampa right now. The wind’s slapping the live oaks around and the yard’s looking pretty swampy, but it will all be well past us before I get the post done.

 So what have I been up to? Well, the beginning of the month I was over in Palm Bay for a bi-annual writing retreat with my friend Cynthia. We got her book The Gems of Raga-Tor published. See the blog post here. I finished the first draft of Of Paradise & Purgatory and sent it out to my alpha readers. It wasn’t all work. We took a day off, ventured out to Camp Holy on the St. John’s River, and had an airboat ride.

Having finished up the draft of my “Arizona Story,” I needed to start a new project. The next book inline is tentatively titled: The Deadly Dare and is the follow up to Return to Cooter Crossing. Sean heads off to summer camp and gets tangled up with that haunted house in The Demise of Bobby & Clyde. The camp is on the island in the middle of Lake Jackson and I needed to do a little more world building around that area of the county.

steamboat days flyerThe beginning of the story takes place around Memorial Day and I began to ponder how the town of Blackwater would celebrate the start of summer? And, I came up with the idea of Steamboat Days. You may have noticed I have a thing for tall sailing ships, but next in line is a good old fashion paddlewheel boat with the over the top scrollwork and gingerbread decorations, a loud steam whistle, and the calliope bellowing out Dixie over the old black water of a southern river. This lead to the idea of a novella called Steamboat Days that’s kind of a collection of what the most popular of my characters are up to this weekend. Max has a central role.

Battles_of_Bennett_Bay_Cover_01But wait, there’s more! Because this was a celebration of a Civil War battle on the lake, I needed to flesh out the history of the area. And then, I had this crazy idea of just not having a collection of notes around but an actual historical monograph on the Civil War battles of Bennett Bay and Big Cypress county. The cool thing about the current age of self-publishing is I can have fun playing with my world building and actually publish it. I’m adding a history timeline here as I go along. 

So that’s what I’m up to. I’m writing a history book, and then a novella about Steamboat Days and then I will finally get to Sean and his adventures at camp. So what do you have planned this summer?

Pax,
Stephen

Author: Stephen del Mar

Stephen del Mar lives in the Tampa Bay area and writes in the Southern Literary tradition. His stories are character driven with rich settings. They often have a touch of the paranormal, supernatural, or magical realism.

Although he writes about serious subjects, they are sweetened with humor and wit. He says, “It’s a southern thing.”