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.

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