I had already envisioned the character of Mark Taylor in my head, but it was a fuzzier less defined character. More of a concept than a character. For those of you who have read March Into Hell, you probably know the exact scene I'm talking about. For me, it was the hardest scene I've ever written. Not the actual writing part--that just flew out of me in about an hour and then I spent time tweaking it, but it was much harder to share with readers. I still get a little queasy thinking about others reading that scene. It's part of the reason I don't market March Into Hell like I should, and probably why I wrote No Good Deed as a novel before turning March Into Hell into one.
Writing the water boarding scenes in No Good Deed wasn't nearly as gut-wrenching for me as that one scene in March Into Hell.In fact, I was scared to death to publish the book because of the whole theme of the book with the religious aspect and all. I'm not very religious and I'm not an expert on theology, but since my character is also not an expert, I decided that would work in the book's favor.
I expected to tick off a lot of readers with the book, but oddly, that hasn't happened that I know of. There are a couple of one-star reviews regarding the cult/religious aspect, but that was it and those came early on, so perhaps those reviews served as fair warning to those readers who don't care for those kinds of subjects and plots in books. Those are very helpful one-star reviews and I can totally live with them.
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Well, No Good Deed did fairly well in the first six months. It wasn't a bestseller or anything, but I had readers telling me that they wanted more and since March Into Hell had the same character even if the theme was different, it was closest to being ready for publishing rather than starting from scratch. Plus, I guess I just wanted to see what others thought about it. I decided to dust off the short, tear it apart and re-write the whole book. I only kept a few scenes from the original, but the important ones are there.
For the record, No Good Deed started out as a short story as well, but that is another blog post. (I'm pretty sure it actually is another blog post somewhere on this blog!)