West of Famous ARCs Arrived

After a two-year gestation period West of Famous, the third book in the Compass Crimes collection, has come to full term. I carried around the proof copy like a newborn that first day showing it to friends. They understand the long process of bringing a book from the first draft to the final edited draft, but they don’t know about the long marketing process. The book will be released in February in print and ebook formats.

West of Famous in the Compass CrimesThe first people who get to read it in print form are reviewers and that small jolly band of souls who helped the book reach the print stage. To the friends in the book club who handed me wine and patted my back when I was in the middle of editing the second draft–thank you! To the valiant few who critiqued the later draft with no-holds-barred honesty–thank you! To my fans in Japan, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States–hang in there, the pre-orders are supposed to start in October.

The Advance Reader Copies (called ARCs) arrived. This, for an author, is as joyful as a box of puppies.

And to the reviewers who will get the next few months to read an ARC–may the story entertain you.

If you haven’t read any of the books in the Compass Crimes collection, then be aware that they have overlapping characters. Each story has a heroine whose life is overturned by a crime. These women refuse to consider themselves victims. If you want to read them in chronological order, begin with North of the Killing Hand. This is when the ensemble cast meets. Then read South of Justice.

I took the month of August off from novel writing, so it’s back to work now. The characters in my head are already jockeying for prominence in the next story. The next title has to begin with the word East. I’m open to suggestions…something not already taken.

Between New Grandchild and My First Book

So consider yourself warned, if you casually ask, “How are you?” I will answer. Between a new grandchild due any minute and the upcoming publication of my first book, South of Justice, I will tell you with supernatural enthusiasm how I am. There might be hopping up and down and squealing involved. And props. Can’t seem to let go of an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) since a few boxes of them arrived this week. Pity the poor UPS delivery man. He was the first victim of my unbridled joy. Guess he doesn’t get many hugs at work?

South of Justice - 3DThen Handsome came home and caught me tenderly carrying around a copy and squealing, “It’s so PRETTY!” He had not watched Despicable Me with the grand kids, so he didn’t appreciate my pseudo-imitation of little Agnes after she gets a giant stuffed unicorn at the fair. He just grinned and shook his head.

Ah, well. Joy is unstoppable. I also posted a photo of an open box of the books on Facebook. Hey, other authors do this. Maybe not Nora Roberts. I guess the thrill wears off after the first 200 titles. Or maybe she doesn’t have time for Facebook…yeah, that must be it. Can’t imagine the excitement diminishes. Sure would like to make it a familiar feeling. The world needs more good news and enthusiasm, especially during a contentious election cycle. Yeesh.

And a book signing is oddly like a baby shower in that eager faces want to see the new addition and hold it. But then everyone else takes the ‘baby’ home. I have to say it feels wonderful to have a “child” at my age, especially one that doesn’t require feeding and diaper changes. This 344-page offspring had a looooong gestation period and a technically complex delivery–don’t get me started on the topic of metadata–and at last South of Justice is birthed. Brace yourselves, the next offspring in the four-book Compass Crimes Series is due in October. There will be more hopping and squealing and carrying it around. I will probably be insufferable.

Handsome says it will take a tranquilizer dart to calm me down. Yeah, yeah, just wait until you hold your new grandchild and refuse to hand him back. We’ll see who needs the tranquilizer dart then.

Oh, and then this happened…a review by SeriousReading.com showed up in my email. I read this and made high-pitched sounds only dogs can hear. Click here to read the review.

Thank you, God, for a joyous spring. Bring on the grandbaby!