Bo Austen-Taylor series · The Happy Face Killer · Work in Progress

The Happy Face Killer

The Happy Face Killer is currently the first work in progress in my rotation of written projects. I do my best to cycle through all of my projects every two weeks or so, but that works better some weeks than others. With that being said, let’s talk about Happy Face!

The Happy Face Killer is book one in the Bo Austen-Taylor series, the continuation series of the fourteen-book Bo Austen series. The Happy Face Killer picks up right where book fourteen leaves off: January 1st, 2030. Following Bo, our forensic analyst main character, through an entirely new part of his life, The Happy Face Killer leans heavily on character development and strong character relations as they work together to balance Bo’s new career and a murder in Clinstone, Minnesota.

A young gal is found stabbed to death outside Ivory Hill, the bar in Clinstone. After her body is removed, a smiley face sticker is discovered on the outside wall of the bar. Placed there by the killer as a calling card of sorts? Bo certainly thinks so.

The Happy Face Killer explores the world and plot through the eyes of Bo and the killer as our primary points of view, though the occasional scene from the killer’s brother, one of Bo’s friends, or a victim isn’t exactly unheard of.

This is my second attempt at this novel. When I wrote it the first time, I was still posting my first drafts online in a community that ended up being incredibly toxic for me. Though I’m thankful for the reader base I gained, much of the experience was unfortunately negative, and it drastically affected my books, my writing, and my characters. In a matter of chapters, I had torn down every ounce of character development that had occurred in the first fourteen books to accommodate the nasty comments I received from a very small percentage of people. When you’re already down, the nasty comments are even harder to ignore, and the changes that happened so quickly to Bo and the other characters were definite proof of that.

I was eleven books into this series before changing my mind and deciding it was time to go back to the beginning and give Bo the love he deserves. The OG series–the Bo Austen series–needs a little bit of help as well, but that can be fixed in editing. These books need rewrite help, and I’m more than willing to dedicate the time to it if it improves the quality of the story and the ‘lives’ of my characters.

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