So, okay folks, I didn’t hear from too many of you last time, but I haven’t given up and am still soliciting your help. I have been working on this new novel, tentatively titled “The Necromancer’s Daughter”. I gave you some of the characters previously but now am going to give you some of the plot as I have it worked out in my head (I haven’t put too much on paper yet). I hope to engage you in my journey of discovery.
Our heroine is Kaitlin (Kait) Pomeroy, resident in surgery at a major west coast teaching hospital. She is the daughter of the Chief of Transplant Surgery at the hospital, Lyle Pomeroy. Her mother, Faith, a poet, believed to be bipolar, committed suicide when Kait was 5 years old. Kait found the body hanging, by one of Lyle’s ties, from the rafters in the attic of their home. Since that time, Kait’s relationship with her father has been strained.
Question: Was Faith really bipolar?
Question: Did she really kill herself? Or was she murdered?
Question: What is the significance of the tie?
When our story opens, Kait is involved in a sadomasochistic affair with one of her attendings, Fitzgerald Palmer, and, after a very unpleasant encounter with him, she collapses in the operating room. Her father is paged and Kait, unable to cope with his disapproval, has a breakdown. She is summarily put on medical leave and her father commits her to the psych ward of the hospital, under the care of Dr. Sloane.
Question: Is this the end of Fitz Palmer or will he surface later in the novel? (Note: he’s wildly attractive and may have a connection to Hephzibah.)
Kyle Mason, one of Kait’s fellow residents, is in love with her and visits her daily on the psych unit. Dr. Sloane, a known advocate of using medication to “cure” mental illness, has Kait doped up on a cocktail of pills that leave her in almost a comatose state. On one of Kyle’s visits he sees the medications being given to her and recognizes one of the pills as an experimental drug. He informs Dr. Pomeroy and Kait is taken off this medication and returns to a near-normal state, but she is still kept confined.
Question: Is Kyle really in love with Kait? Or does he have some nefarious other motivation?
Question: Did Lyle know about the experimental drug? What may he be hiding? Why doesn’t he have her discharged?
Enter (by phone), Aunt Hephzibah, Kait’s mother’s older sister, who is a fertility expert practicing in Boston. Her husband, Raoul Medicia, 15 years her senior, is a dealer in antiquities (loosely translated within the family as a purveyor of stolen art). Aunt Hettie is outraged that her niece has been institutionalized and has spoken harshly to Lyle about it. She insists that Kait be discharged and placed under her care. She suggests that Kait recuperate at her family’s summer home on ? (I don’t have a name for it yet) Island in Maine. It is early spring and the house has not been opened up yet, but Hettie will have the ancient caretaker, Horace Hatchet, make the house (more of an estate) ready for Kait’s arrival. Lyle agrees to this and Kait is sent to Maine via Boston.
Question: Does Hephzibah really have Kait’s best interests at heart? Or is something else motivating her to get Kait to the island?
Question: What does Raoul really do for a living? And what is his hold on Hettie?
When Kait stays overnight in Boston, we learn a little about Hettie and Raoul, but not much.
Once Kait arrives on the island, she is chauffeured to the estate and on the way arranges to have some fresh clams and scallops delivered that evening. The house has been opened, but still seems musty and in need of a good airing out, but, since there is a chill in the air and it is late afternoon, Kait puts that off till morning and goes outside to bring in some wood for the fireplace (note: summer homes in Maine often do not have central heating – even the really big ones)
Enter Mike McGann, local fisherman, aged 32-33, rakishly handsome and a possible love interest for Kait. He may also be Hettie’s summer lover. He’s delivering the aforementioned clams and helps Kait in with the wood and starts a fire for her. Kait has heard rumors about Hephzibah having a lover on the island and wonders if this Mike is the one.
Question: Is Mike Hephzibah’s lover? If so, what is the attraction?
After supper, Kait is sitting by the fire when there is a knock at the door. Enter Horace Hatchet, wizened old caretaker. Kait is uncomfortable with him as there is something sly about him – as if he knows where all the bodies are buried. They talk about mundane stuff then Horace begins talking about Kait’s mother rather wistfully. He mentions that when she was a girl each summer she kept what she called her “summer journal” and that when vacation was over, the journal was always left here at the house. Kait is intrigued and asks where the journals are kept. Horace points to the bookshelf but the journals are missing! Horace is puzzled, as he knows they were there last year.
Question (obvious): Where are the journals? And what do they contain?
Question: What does Horace know? What is his connection to Faith?
And, good friends, that’s about as far as I’ve gotten. I do have an idea about an outbuilding Kait will discover, deep in the woods on the estate. The small shack is locked and all the windows are covered with blinds, but Kait gets a glimpse inside through a gap in one of the blinds and is surprised to see inside a rich hardwood floor covered with an antique oriental carpet, etc.
Question: What is the significance of this building? And what goes on inside it?
Okay, give me your thoughts. Does it totally suck? If so, let me know. Is it an old fashioned mystery or something more? What twists and turns are in store for poor Kait? Use your imagination and let me know what you would like to see. Help me write this book!
2 thoughts on “The Necromancer’s Daughter”
From what I read, the mystery around the other characters should only revolve around the mother’s suicide. For instance: What does Raoul really do for a living? Is Mike Hephzibah’s lover? These questions should only be asked if the answers are linked to the mother’s past. Also, I think Kyle and Mike might not be needed in the story after all. Since I don’t know the whole story or what you’ve actually written, I can’t say these things for sure.
I do want to know what the journals say, where they are, and the significance of the shack! With that, plus the mystery around the mother’s suicide and Kait’s stay in the psych ward, these are the makings of a very good story!
Thanks, Chris! I appreciate your input!