Monday, April 30, 2012

In Which I Explain Where I've Been the Past 8 Weeks

So, it’s been a while. Let me begin by saying February sucks.  It’s chilly, but not in a good, crisp wintery sort of way and there’s a letdown from all the foofaraw of Christmas and New Year’s. It’s the month of the year when you’re at a midway point between the solstice and the coming of spring, a long exhalation before any of us can breathe again.  For me, it seems like Douglas Adam’s Long, Dark Teatime of the Soul.
And so, of course, everyone got sick. First it was food poisoning, which morphed into a weeks-long carnival of gastroenteritis that no one escaped. In our debilitated condition, we all fell prey to a nasty upper respiratory bug.  There was not a day in that six-week period where someone wasn’t vomiting or hacking or curled up in agony.  Despite all this, people still had to go to work and school and scouts and drama practice and choir and soccer. It’s truly a wonder we’re not all dead.  Added to that, I’ve had a computer virus that has blocked me from posting for several weeks. I stubbornly decided to cure it myself, which – considering my negative technological polarity – has been somewhat, ah, difficult. I believe it’s fixed. 

So my train of thought was derailed for a while, and it’s taken half of March and most of April to get it running back down the track. Not that all that time was wasted. After a small promotion in February and a big promotion in April, I’ve finally hit the Amazon bestseller lists. It was at #98, but I was briefly number one in several mystery and suspense subcategories. The ensuing sales meant that I’ve actually started to sporadically earn more from the books than from my day job.  The fact that (between free promos and paid sales) there are now 20,000+ people reading my work, and more every day,  is both exhilarating and terrifying. 

And so now it’s time to put the house in order. I’ve gone to part-time work (mostly for established clients and as favors to friends) and I’ve told the other people who live in the house to shut up and make their own damned macaroni.  I’ve heard from fans asking when the next Maddie book is coming out – which caused Susan and I to come to the revelation that Curtain Call, which was supposed to be the next Maddie book and was partially written and plotted, was boring and we didn’t care for it. Luckily, we already have the next six Maddie books semi-plotted, so the demise of Curtain Call means the ascendance of Scene Stealer, which we hope to have finished before the end of the year.  My first short story collection, Dead Girls and Other Stories, will be out shortly. (I’m still poking one of the stories to make sure it’s truly dead and formatting the manuscript). Then the next two novels, which are each meant to anchor a series, are in some stage of serious work.  Dead of Winter, which is 2/3 of the way finished, has been tied up and shoved into a closet until further notice. 

So for those of you keeping score at home, you can currently buy Darker By Degree, Director’s Cut, and Running Red. During the next eight months, expect the release of  A Willingness of Witches, Lost Things, Scene Stealer, Dead Girls and Other Stories, and possibly another short story collection by Christmas.

Oh, and I have to get back to blogging, both here and the other place. 
So, expect things to return to normal – or at least as normal as they ever were. Which probably wasn’t very.