Writing Wednesday: More About Me and Detective Jimmy Delaney

Last Week’s Goals

My blog entries were all posted on schedule, and all my available stories are circulating out in the markets.

My next indie release is scheduled for April 16th is still planned as Herc Tom #11, so if you haven’t read 1-10, now would be a good time to start (hint, hint – remember – the first two are FREE– see my Current Book Promotions page for details and links.) I completed the final revision of #11, but I STILL haven’t decided on a title; once I do that I’ll finish up the indie publishing tasks (create the cover, format the manuscript for ePublication on Smashwords and Kindle Direct Publishing, and possibly on Barnes & Noble Press as well.)

I still haven’t made any new efforts on the various promotion sites I’m aware of, so the only new entries went to Indies Unlimited Thrifty Thursdays and Kindle Unlimited Fridays. This lack of effort by my underperforming marketing department is NOT resulting in any sales, or even free downloads of my series starters.

I’m most of the way through listening to Mark E. Cooper’s Merkiaari Wars series (Books 1-3) – I’ll report on it here and do reviews once I’m done.

As much as I enjoy listening on Audible, I’ve had to cut back on my spending in consideration of the official end of my Day Job, so I’ve cancelled my membership and already used my remaining credits

I only wrote 2219 words of fiction, which makes this the 3rd week this year (and in a row) that I missed my 3500-word goal. My fiction-writing time was mostly in what should be the FINAL revision of Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire #11, and a rough start to Detective Jimmy Delaney #7. Actual writing occurred over five days last week, although time was spent on the other two days rereading my Detective Jimmy Delaney series.

So, About Me and Jimmy Delaney

My writing stalled some as I tried to get my head back into my Detective Jimmy Delaney series. I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I’d written one. Stories 4-6 (“The Scent of the Crime”, “Killing Them Softly”, and “Hard Times”) were all written in 2016; Jimmy must have fallen by the wayside as a result of my focus on Swordsmaster.

So, let’s talk about how Jimmy Delaney came to be. As you read this, it will be helpful to remember that I’m a DISCOVERY WRITER – a PANTSER.

I have two series of short stories. The series starters for each weren’t intended to be starters – they were stand-alone, speculative fiction short stories like most of the eighty or so I’ve written.


Original, stand-alone cover

Purr Mission” (the starter for Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire) was triggered as many of my fictions are – a sentence popped into my head that had no relation to anything in my life or any story I was writing at the time.

I hate uncontrolled reentry.

I started free-writing, and discovered a fighter pilot being pursued by the enemy, shot down and crash-landing on a planet. This pilot transitioned into a cat (Hercules Tom) while he was holed up in a cave, and the rest of the story developed around this middle to explain why Herc was being chased, how he got out of the predicament he was in, and a successful conclusion to both his mission and the story.

I submitted “Purr Mission” to the Writers of the Future contest, and received the first of my Honorable Mentions. This inspired me to continue writing about Herc Tom. He was an easy character to write about, with a sort of feline-macho “I’m good” personality that was fun to be tongue-in-cheek about. There are pieces of Herc Tom in me, but he is by and large his own cat. The universe he’s in has grown gradually as each story rolled out.

InAFlashJimmyCoverThe first of my Detective Jimmy Delaney stories had a different genesis. “In a Flash” (also FREE – see my Current Book Promotions page) came into being when a co-worker mentioned while trying to absorb some education about some new tech, that it would be nice if you could just pop in a flash drive to gain new skills instead of having to spend all this time studying. As I considered where I could go with the story, the possibility of being hacked or mind-controlled arose, and murder seemed the most dangerous affect that could result.

That meant a detective story, something that I had never even considered writing. There would be a police detective involved, and I leant my own situation (being up in years) to Jimmy as himself also being somewhat older and needing help to keep pace with the changes in his job.

“In a Flash” didn’t win any awards, but I was drawn to Jimmy and his predicament (because it was my own), and much of his personality is my own. He may be more “me” than any other character I’veStalkingCover written (that should reassure those of you who may be wondering how much of me is inTheBodyCover “The Body” or “A Dish Best Served”, or even “Stalking Rebecca”.) As far as Jimmy goes, NO, I have not cheated to keep a job, had an implant, or an affair. I haven’t been shot or killed anyone, nor gone to self-medication for help with any issues. But those are just specific experiences – Jimmy Delaney is pretty much me.

So – if I’m writing about ME, then how could my writing stall. Well, I’m not drawing events from my real life, and Barnstow (the imaginary Midwest town that Jimmy operates in) has it’s own denizens and ancillary characters that I need refreshers on. Even Jimmy himself has different ways of talking that I need a refresher on. This being a series, I need to try to maintain some sense of continuity and consistency, or it will just be a disjointed set oof tales sharing the same character names and little else.

So, I read and soldier on. I have the basic ideas for each of the next three tales written down, but what they’ll really wind up as – well, your guess is as good as mine. I am a PANTSER, after all.   

Just saying…)

Current Book Promotions

In a Flash Detective Jimmy Delaney eBook CoverPurrMission-MainTall_025For information on my current promotions (including the FREE Presale and reduced price preorders for Cats of War III, my participating books in the 14th Annual Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale, as well as FREE starter eBooks for my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series and my Detective Jimmy Delaney series), look HERE on my CURRENT BOOK PROMOTIONS page.

Reaching Out

William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science Fiction and The Arcanist. His ninety or so short stories and related collections can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Want to help me make a go of this writing gig WITHOUT IT COSTING YOU A PENNY? I’m in the Amazon Affiliates program, so any time you click one of the links I provide here to my books on Amazon, and then make a purchase of something like, say, a TV, I get a small percentage of Amazon’s profit. So PLEASE consider using one of my links to get to Amazon before you make that next purchase. Thanx!


or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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