Report From The Writing Trenches

It’s been an insanely busy couple of months. Starting with the release of DEAD, WITHOUT A STONE TO TELL IT in June, I feel like I’ve been going non-stop, and there’s no end in sight. So I thought I’d take a brief break from the normal round of forensic posts to talk about what’s been going on with me lately.

  1. Our novella, NO ONE SEES ME ‘TIL I FALL, has gone through our critique team and has been professionally edited. For now, it’s been temporarily put aside for one last pass before formatting to get it ready for a November release. Cover art is still to come. This novella is the second installment in the Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries and occurs in series time two weeks after DEAD, WITHOUT A STONE TO TELL IT and about a week before A FLAME IN THE WIND OF DEATH.
  2. Copy edits for A FLAME IN THE WIND OF DEATH are complete. This is the third installment in the Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries and is scheduled for hardcover release in May 2014 with the eBook to follow. I’m expecting the cover art to arrive any time now since Advanced Reading Copies are due in only a few months. As soon as we’ve got the go ahead to release the new cover art, you’ll see it here first.
  3. I’m getting ready to attend Bouchercon 2013 in Albany, NY in less than a month. I recently found out that I’ll be sitting on the forensics panel with five excellent authors. More to come on that in the next few weeks.
  4. My biggest challenge lately has been our newest novel, the fourth installment in the Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries. TWO PARTS BLOODY MURDER is definitely the most intense draft I’ve ever produced. DEAD was written over about five months, when I was in my former lab job (which was much less intense than my current position) and when I wasn’t into the social media aspects etc. of being a debut author. FLAME was written in about 8 or 10 weeks last year while I was between jobs and had the whole day get my words in. This novel is being written in about the same length of time as FLAME but with a very intense 40-hours-a-week in my new job. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with my current group, but it makes for an 18-hour work day nearly every day of the week.
  5. I’ll be attending New England Crime Bake in early November, and have padded a day on each side of the trip to Boston to make sure all my locations for TWO PARTS BLOODY MURDER are perfect, as well as to start scouting locations for the next full length Abbott and Lowell novel. We’ve got great plans for that one, and the perfect location for a large part of the novel is going to be crucial. Even though we won’t be starting planning on that novel until January, I want to be boots-on-the-ground with my camera in November to get all the shots we need ahead of time.

So that’s my crazy life for the last half of 2013. Our WIP manuscript is currently almost 70% done, and the goal is to have the first draft complete in September, critiqued in October, re-edited and sent to our editor in November. Wish me luck getting the first draft in on time; I’m going to need it!

Photo credit: Shane Pope