What am I doing now? Full rewrites (for the umpteenth time) on Lady Dragon, my Asian underworld crime novel. the novel is on the market, seeking representation. I haven’t worked on the book for some years. Earlier drafts excited literary agents Garon-Brooks-Thixton, as well as Kimberly Cameron and Jillian Manus. My previous literary agent, Cherry Wiener, was unable to fit it into her list while we were promoting my other works. However, the work was never promoted for the markets, and therefore had lost its way for some while. I’m hoping to remedy that this year.
The finished underworld crime novel is approx 85K-90K words, and has garnered the benefit of years of research and interviews from actual triad/tong members as well as FBI and other law enforcement personnel.
The novel was first drafted in 1994 as, The House of the Blue Dragon.
I had heard an episode on an NPR program (Startalk) that discussed Chinese astronomy and a constellation called the House of the Blue Dragon. I found that a very interesting name, and soon I began formulating a story based upon it. What came to being was a meandering nowhere of a book called The House of the Blue Dragon, which was a story about a group of mysterious Chinese Taoists trying to initiate a group of new Chinese-Americans into their secret society. The protagonist was a young Chinese-American professor named Daniel Chan, and his sister, Marilyn. They were joined by a third party named Su-Yin, who was a mirror of Marilyn. The story seemed to hop back and forth about an evil presence in the society named Chen Wu, a dog-faced sorcerer-Taoist who was bent on destroying the society itself and its members. Another interesting side character to this was the first mention of Annie Mitchell, who would later be resurrected in the Dead Reckoning drafts. In this version, Annie is Marilyn’s friend who is killed in a car accident and comes back briefly as a ghost to warn Marilyn about some impending danger; Annie would not return in any later drafts of this novel. Altogether a mess of a book with no plot or resolution.
Subsequent drafts cleaned up the plot and made it into a sleek and suspenseful look into the Chinese criminal underworld – re-entitled as Lady Dragon.