I keep a number of projects in process at the same time as a normal rule. This morning, awakening at 4:30 with nothing better to do, I took a break from writing the last few chapters of "Triptych" to do a little research on my novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). If you are not familiar with the event, suffice it to say that during the month of November, half a million crazed author-wannabes around the world set out to write their novel in 30 days. Nearly 40,000 will succeed, at least in generating 50,000 words during the month.
I've done it ten times in the past eight years (having written two in a couple of years) and my four published books all originated during NaNoWriMo. Most of my endeavors I have blogged as I wrote them. It helps to keep the pressure on to produce the allotted quota of words each day.
This year I'll be doing a crossover between my normal "mainline" mystery/thrillers and my SOL erotic romances. An erotic psychological thriller that I will post here on SOL daily during November.
The thing is, the research for the first three chapters has me terrified. I don't want to tip over the edge into horror, but the subject that I start with is horrifying. It's called Anesthetic Awareness, or unintended intra-operative awareness. It's the phenomenon of being awake, aware, and in pain when you are supposed to be knocked out under anesthesia.
The likelihood of this happening is termed "remote" with just one or two patients out of a thousand experiencing it. But if you count up the number of surgeries a year in the U.S., that's about 20-40,000 people a year that have some degree of awareness under anesthesia. Most of those are corrected immediately, either because the patient gives an indication that she is awake, or because newer brain-wave monitoring devices will show the problem so an attentive anesthesioligist can correct it immediately. Rarely, a patient will be fully conscious and in pain through an entire surgery without the operating room staff being aware of it.
That's the start of my NaNoWriMo project this year. But not only will Margot Pembroke suffer through the pain and humiliation of a medical procedure gone awry, she will become aware that someone is controlling her thoughts and physical responses while deep inside she is struggling to communicate that she is awake.
How deep will she need to dive in order to emerge on the other side?
This story is not for the squeamish or those who expect erotic romance from me. But it will make your heart race! Starting on SOL on November 1.