In Dark Places, NaNo ’10 Excerpt Online…

In Dark Places is set in an interior Alaskan copper mine in the cold and dark of the winter of 1913…  Tin Hansen and his crew head up from the mill town to South Adit–one of the most dangerous and remote areas in the Kupfer Mine holdings.  They will work fourteen-hour shifts in the cold and dark, tunneling east into a promising vein of copper.  But the area lies beneath the Green Field, and stories of something within the mountain have circulated among the local people for years before the coming of the copper mine… While nothing supernatural has ever touched Tin Hansen’s life, he is acutely aware of the changes that cold and darkness can wreak in a man. As the light fades to nothingness and exhaustion sets in, Tin’s crew begins to change…

Two of my Favorite Things….

Well, The Fishing Widow-wise, that is.  I’m adding two pages today!  They’re two of my favorite chapters.  Chapter 10 and Chapter 19….  I’ll give you a little background.  I’ll hope this will inspire you to leave a comment and want more.  I do really hope for that!

After the Prologue in September 2006, the Chapter 1 begins in the fictional small fishing town of Port Saint Anne, Alaska on March 14, 2010, just before the start of the Sitka herring sac roe fishery openings. Colin’s gotten married to Ellie, and the two of them have bought a seine boat that they’ve christened The Case in Point.  The name came from a conversation Colin and Ellie had had on the dock just after purchasing the seiner.  The conversation ended with Colin saying to Ellie that she must think he’s “nuts to buy this boat,” to which Ellie smiles and replies, “Of course you’re nuts, sweetheart.  And this is just a case in point.” So, Colin is a newly-minted skipper with boat, gear, and permit debt up past his eyeballs (meaning: approaching nearly $1.5 million at the outset), and Ethan is his deckboss. 

Their crew is mostly locals: Mike Passarella, 35; Danny Rennick, 20; Tommy Ansoategui, 27; Josh Padgett, 17; and Brett Riesgraf, 26, from Yachats, Oregon.  Most of these fishermen have worked together on other boats before, with the exception of Josh who’s new to all of this.  While several odd events take place on the way to Sitka, Ethan and Colin chalk it up to stress.  During the first opening (and the Sitka herring sac roe fishery is notorious for short opening times), Colin, Ethan, and the crew manage a miracle set–similar to what happened in real life aboard a seiner called Infinite Glory in 2008.  They close a 1,500 ton set.  A million dollar set.

But after the fish are gone and the fervor dies away, the crew is left to haul in the rest of the net, and things go from odd to terrifying….

The action in Chapter 10 picks up during the second opening of the fishery.  The crew is confident that they’ll have good luck again.  Ethan is confident enough to leave the crew on the deck alone to handle the net … unaware that circumstances are moving from terrifying to deadly…..

… Chapter 19, though, is my absolute FAVORITE of the “hey-I’m-not-giving-it-away-just-yet” chapters.  It takes place during the third opening of the fishery.  It’s night.  The Case in Point’s net has been pumped empty of fish, and the crew heads in as a storm begins to brew out to the west.  A rogue wave, and the consequences define this chapter.  The reader gets another glimpse of just what’s out there stalking the crew of The Case in Point.  Jack Burnsed, Ethan’s least-favorite, but my favorite, Alaska State Trooper makes an appearance toward the end of the chapter.  Between Jack and Ethan, not much has changed, but Ethan is older, shrewder, and more self-assured than he was at 19 in the Prologue.

I hope you like these two chapters.  Enjoy!