Because I’m crazy and can’t seem to just take a break and relax now that I’m done with school for a while, I’ve committed to write my second novel in one month. For the next 30 days, my writing goal is three thousand words, or about 3½ hours per day, every day.
I’ve got the first chapter of Off Exhibit up on Google Docs, and will be adding it to Scribd and Authonomy in due course, but for now here’s the teaser:
Alan Radcliffe needs a story that will get his Journalism professors to take him seriously. When he sees a young zookeeper fall into a lion exhibit at a small zoo, a lioness guarding her from the other lions, he knows he’s got the makings of a heroic human-interest story that will get him more than he could have hoped for.
He can’t help but be drawn into the lives of the keepers, and the story gets better with each person he talks to. They are all there for the love of the animals, making self-sacrificing compromises in their lives so that they can survive on the barely-minimum-wage salaries that are typical of the industry.
Even the zoo itself it an underdog story waiting to be written. Crowds are thinning as parents cut back on entertainment expenses. The zoo stands on the cusp of an ambitious and crucial expansion plan that will either make it or break it.
But the more Alan digs, the more the little things start to poke at him. Why doesn’t he trust the owner, Martin? What else could possibly being going on, off exhibit?
It will be interesting to step outside of Trust Network and write about something different for a while. Computer geeks are fun to write about, but geekery comes in many forms. I’m looking forward to it.