The Mysterious Case of the Vanishing Author

The Mysterious Case of the Vanishing Author

Our mid day tea was interrupted by the ring of the doorbell. I roused myself from the chair and hurried to the door where I found a striking young woman. “Is this the home of Sherlock Holmes, the famous detective? I wish to engage him to help me find a missing author. I apologize for being so forward. He’s been missing for two years and I have no idea what happened to him,” she said. “I forget my manners, I’m Joan de St. Leger.”

She was a striking young woman; auburn hair, bright green eyes. “Have we met before? You look familiar to me,” I asked as I ushered her into the house.

“It’s possible; I work for Mr. Mycroft Holmes in the Foreign Service,” she said.

“That must be it,” I said. “This way.” I led her up the stairs to Holmes’ drawing room. “This is Miss Joan de St. Leger. She is asking for your help in finding a missing author. What did you say his name was?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t. His name is Michael Tefft. The last missive I had from him was over two years ago and I fear the worse.

“What is your relationship to this author?” Holmes asked.

I’m a character in his novels,” she replied. “I’ve been waiting two long years to find out what will happen to me.”

– From the non existent story “The Case of the Vanishing Author”

It won’t take the great deductive mind of Sherlock Holmes to find out where I’ve been for the last two years.

The answer is: Life has kept me busy.

When last I updated this blog, I was trying to decide what to work on – an anthology of horror short stories or the next novel in the Reluctant series. I actually wrote three stories, three quarters of another, and plotted out a fourth. But in the end, I came back to Malcolm, and Joan.


The week of March 18th, I suddenly found myself working full time at home and then just a day later, making an emergency trip to Canada to get our daughter back from college before the border closed. All during this, I also needed to check on my father on a daily basis. While you would think that this would mean more time to write because I no longer had a daily commute and no outside activities, I found I actually had less time.

But I wrote when I could. I managed to take a writing retreat in 2020, staying at Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel – owned by Kate Pierson of the B-52s!

In March 2021, I left my employer for a new position as a Technical Solutions Architect for a software company. I hadn’t been happy in my old job and it had become obvious to me that there were little to no opportunities to do something new at that job. The new job has been challenging, but also very demanding on my time, making it even harder to find time to write.

In August of 2021, my family and I went to Trekondoraga (a recreation of the Star Trek Original Series sets) and I got to live out my fantasy of being a Chief Engineer on the Enterprise:

In October of 2020, we joined all of the people who got quarantine pets, a beautiful cat named Jazz (it was supposed to be Jasmine because we thought when we got it, it was a girl. However, a visit to the vets told us otherwise, so he became Jazz). I was never a cat person before, but now I’ve become one of those people that obsessively reads about cats that have been rescued and thriving in new homes. Here he is in all his glory:

I was able to get away for another writing retreat in 2021 – this time to Honesdale, PA ( in the Poconos) where I got a tremendous amount of writing done and really moved the next novel towards completion.

Which I’m happy to say, on January 6, 2022, I completed the first draft of the next Reluctant novel:

So What’s Next?

I’ve been letting the novel sit for a few weeks and I’m just beginning to start reading through it, so that I can figure out what needs to rewriting. I really hope that I can get this novel published this year, but between my job and looking out for my father, I’m not sure if it will happen. But I intend to work on it, bit by bit, much like how I wrote it.

I hope this solves the Case of the Vanishing Author to your satisfaction. I plan to offer more frequent updates, but you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men….

Until next time,

Happy Journeys!

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