Friday, December 12, 2008

Been busy writing

I haven't been around much lately, because I've been scrambling to meet my deadlines - if you missed the (many) earlier mentions, I have a murder mystery trilogy coming out in 2009 from the new cozy mystery imprint Heartsong Presents Mysteries. (You can click on the banner below for more info.) The trilogy is called the "Kentucky Geezers Mysteries," and stars Earl Walker, who has been confined to a wheelchair since a bullet ended his career as a metro bus driver years ago. (There's a lot more to it, but I'll have to fill you in later.)

The first volume, NURSING A GRUDGE, has now been through two rounds: the draft I turned in, and then a new draft following the edits/suggestions from the content editor. I am waiting now for the line editor to send me additional requests/changes.

A draft of the second volume, BURYING THE HATCHET, is in the hands of a personal reader, who'll point out all my mistakes in continuity and such. Once I hear back from her, the book will be revised once or twice more before I turn it over to my editors at HPM. (I am thrilled with this one, because it's my first "impossible crime" mystery!)

And I am now plotting the third and final volume, KNOCKING 'EM DEAD. Yesterday, I had an online chat with two of my editors, as they helped me think through some of the particulars. If I can make it work, this will be a great finale, because we finally learn Earl's big secret - which threatens to destroy the most important relationship in his life. (It promises to be a crazy ride!)

These novels have been a fun exercise in following the model of classic mysteries, as written by the likes of Rex Stout (Nero Wolfe), Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot), and exemplified in television shows like Murder She Wrote and Diagnosis: Murder. And because the HPM books all have inspirational and romantic elements, that means there's a lot at stake as Earl is forced to confront both the killer -- and himself.

The three individual titles will be available early to mid-next year, and a 3-in-1 "mystery omnibus" is scheduled for November 2009. I can't wait! (But, of course, I have to finish them first.)

Speaking of the omnibuses (omnibi?): Heartsong Mysteries coming to retailers

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

The state of book publishing

It's no secret that book publishing as an industry is having some trouble, as outlined by agent Chip MacGregor here and author Lee Goldberg here. But, as acquisitions editor Karen Ball explains, people still need books.

Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction


A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at Watch the trailer on YouTube.