First: Today in the United States we are observing Memorial Day. This is not Veterans Day. This is not a day in which we thank those who returned from their service. This is the day we remember those who did not return. I was lucky in that my grandfather and my father both survived world wars, or there would have been no me. So I appreciate and mourn those who did not. Hopefully one day we will find a better way to settle our differences, because this is as stupid a solution as there could be.
Moving on: There was a time when the soul singer James Brown was known (mostly because he insisted) as "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business." And that was a title Brown earned every night onstage, working up a sweat almost immediately and regularly being leg off the stage, seemingly too weak to go on, only to shed the cape he'd conveniently brought with him to rally and work the crowd up into an even higher state of frenzy.
He worked hard, is what I'm saying.
Well, I wouldn't dare suggest for a moment to challenge the late Mr. Brown to the title, but thanks to the fact that Josh is a really good agent, I'm in line to vie for The Hardest Working Man in Crime Fiction (midlist division).
Now it can be told: In addition to continuing the Haunted Guesthouse series for Berkley Prime Crime (GHOST IN THE WIND is coming in December!) and the Asperger's Mystery series for our own Terri Bischoff at Midnight Ink (THE QUESTION OF THE UNFAMILIAR HUSBAND, coming in October!), we've been able to announce that two (yes, 2) new series will begin soon, depending on your definition of "soon."
DOG DISH OF DOOM, the first in the Agent to the Paws series, will be coming to you from Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin's Press) sometime in 2016. These books (written by E.J. Copperman) will center on Kay Powell, a showbiz kid who grew up on stages in the Catskill Mountains, performing with her parents Jay and Ellie (Jay, Kay and El) until she realized she didn't care much for performing and applied to law school. Now Kay is a theatrical agent who takes only non-human clients. That's right, she represents animals, and not the kind who usually populate film and theater casts.
In DOG DISH OF DOOM, Kay is trying hard to get her client Bruno, a big hairy mutt (he's a dog) a part in the latest Broadway revival of Annie. But just when it looks like she'll easily get Bruno the job, his human owner Trent Barclay is found with a knife in his back and his nose in Bruno's water dish. Things go steadily downhill from there.
But wait--that's not all!
Also coming sometime in 2016 (I think) will be WRITTEN OUT, the first book in what we're calling the Mysterious Detective Mysteries from Crooked Lane Books. In this series, Rachel Goldman is a midlist mystery author whose character Duffy Madison is a gifted consultant for the county prosecutor's investigation team. Duffy specializes in missing persons cases.
But one day as Rachel is putting the finishing touches on the latest Duffy Madison book, a man approaches her claiming to be a consultant for the Bergen County (did you think it would be anywhere but New Jersey?) Prosecutor's office, specializing in missing persons cases, one of which he insists he needs Rachel's help to solve.
And he tells her his name is Duffy Madison, and it is his belief that she created him.
Things go steadily downhill from there.
So with four (!) series publishing from four (!!) different publishers, my work (and of course E.J.'s) will be represented in mass market paperback, trade paperback and hardcover, as well as ebooks and audiobooks. In short, get prepared to be sick to death of me.
It's a lot of writing to do, and I'm absolutely fine with that. This is the job I spent years trying to get, so I'm going to do it as much as I can until someone tells me to stop. I'm hoping you'll follow me along on these many journeys and get some escape, some entertainment, some laughs and maybe a character or two you'll take to your heart. Expect to be hearing a lot from me as each publication date approaches, because I want to keep this gig. Readers ultimately decide which books continue to be published and don't think I ever forget that. Your voice is important to me; get in touch.
But if you think that's all... well, you weren't reading Josh's post last week.
Yes, I'm the writer he was referencing in relation to the auction that led to a very nice sale of two books to the German publisher whose name I won't attempt for fear of making myself sound foolish (as if not being able to type the name of a publisher doesn't make me look foolish enough). In fact, I'm both of the writers involved.
The first two Samuel Hoenig Asperger's Mysteries (by Jeff Cohen/E.J. Copperman), edited as I noted above by our very own Terri Bischoff, became the object of a bidding skirmish ("war" would be just too much to think about) last week, resulting in a very enjoyable phone call among Josh, Danielle Burby of HSG Agency, and me. I'm still a little dizzy from that day. Suffice it to say we'll be saying nice things about the Germans (and as it turns out, the Czechs) for some time.
So while James Brown may still hold the title of Hardest Working Man in Show Business (despite his being somewhat unable to work these days), I think I'll be toiling away pretty hard in the mystery biz for a while. It's the benefit of having a very good agent and a little luck.
Sorry, I have to go write now.