Report from the Writing Trenches – December 2013

November was truly an insane month, finally wrapping up a few days into December as we hit our big deadline yesterday. I’ll be back next week with a forensics post for you as I get back into the regular swing of things, but I thought it was time for a report on my recent writing life:

Early in November, I travelled to Boston for two purposes—research for TWO PARTS BLOODY MURDER and to attend New England Crime Bake as part of promoting DEAD, WITHOUT A STONE TO TELL IT. I was fortunate enough to meet with our contact within the Massachusetts State Police, the head of the Essex Detective Unit, Detective Lieutenant Zuk. Once again, Detective Lieutenant Zuk was kind enough to answer any and all questions about police protocol, and then went above and beyond in connecting me with one of his contacts in Crime Scene Services. Once I got home, I had a fascinating conversation with Detective Lieutenant Mike Holleran about forensics in general and fingerprint analysis specifically. I also got to tour the history observatory, High Rock Tower in Lynn, the site of the big climactic scene in TWO PARTS BLOODY MURDER (see picture below).




We published Abbott and Lowell #2, NO ONE SEES ME ‘TIL I FALL, on November 26th. As we blogged about last week, this e-novella is our gift to our readers during their wait between the full length novels and features a full case for Trooper Leigh Abbott and forensic anthropologist Dr. Matt Lowell. It also features an exclusive look at the first three chapters of FLAME IN THE WIND OF DEATH.








The advanced reading copies of A FLAME IN THE WIND OF DEATH arrived on my doorstep immediately upon my return from Boston, so Ann and I are now busily proofing the galley before it goes into print in the spring. We’re also setting up our street team, who will be helping us spread the word about this release in return for early, complimentary access to the ARCs.








The biggest news for us right now is that yesterday we sent Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries #4, TWO PARTS BLOODY MURDER, to our editor. We have high hopes of it seeing a spring 2015 publishing date.

This book may have been our biggest challenge ever. Normally a manuscript like this would take approximately eight months to research, write and edit. Due to wanting to write a novella with a fall publishing date, TWO PARTS was crafted in only four and a half months. It definitely stands as my most intense manuscript to date as I continued to work full time in the lab over that period. I set a deadline for myself of 10,000 words a week, and while I didn’t always make my goal, we ended up only a few weeks behind by the end of the whole process, so I was quite pleased.

While I’m already looking ahead to Abbott and Lowell #5, it’s time to take a break, so that’s definitely a project for the New Year. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the holidays and actually put my feet up occasionally in the evening! :)