Report From The Writing Trenches – March 2017

We’re back! *waves* We’ve been away from regular blogging for much too long, but we’ve been working hard in the meantime and had to keep our heads down while revising several manuscripts and planning for a few more books. So next week will be a normal Skeleton Keys post, but this week we’ll fill you in on what we’ve been up to.

FBI K-9s: Just before we went on hiatus, we were able to show you our stunning new cover for BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. Since then, we’ve done a full developmental edit with our fabulous new editor, Esi Sogah, who suggested some really solid changes for the book that made it so much better. And then over the past few weeks, we completed the copy edit of the manuscript. So now, with the exception of the galley proof, BEFORE is in the bag. We’ll be looking at early reader copies going out in late July and then the book releases on September 26th.

This means we’re turning our attention to book 3 in the series and its deadline on December 1st for a 2018 release. We took the time to really look at the idea we had for this book originally, and had some concerns which we brought to Esi. The idea was solid, but now, after writing LONE WOLF and BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE, we realized we had a problem with the outline for book 3—set on the west coast, it was too isolating. Especially after book 2, Meg and Hawk have amassed a tight ensemble of supporting characters: her sister Cara, Washington Post reporter Clay McCord, Washington DC firefighter/paramedic Todd Webb, and fellow FBI personnel including team members Brian Foster and his German shepherd Lacey, Lauren Wycliffe and her border collie Rocco, and the newly introduced Scott Park and his bloodhound Theo. In moving the storyline to the west coast, some of this group might appear in the book, but most would not. As a result, we didn’t think it would work, so we put our heads together with Esi and came up with a new idea that would allow us to involve everyone in the case. Research is already started and we’ll be jumping into real story planning shortly and will be drafting by mid-April to early May.

Abbott and Lowell: We originally wanted to get LAMENT THE COMMON BONES out earlier, but the contracted work for BEFORE had to come first, and we decided to do one more really ripping edit on it, which took about 6 weeks. But that is nearly complete and then we’ll start to look at a cover and a release date for Abbott and Lowell #5. We could see it out in May/June for summer vacation reading.

Appearances: Bouchercon 2017 is coming up in Toronto this October and Jen is already registered to be there to represent us as separate and joint authors. I know some of our readers are already planning to come (Kathy... are you registered yet?). For any of our readers who are avid mystery and thriller readers and would love to interact with their favourite authors, there are already 1100 people signed up, over half of which are authors. So, if you love Louise Penny, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Meagan Abbott, Kelley Armstrong and many, many more, it’s a great trip to an amazing city with a chance to meet well-known authors and even discover some new ones. As an added bonus, for the Americans in the crowd, the low Canadian dollar makes it a cheap trip for you! Want more information? It’s all right here: Bouchercon 2017.

See you next week when we get back into the swing of regular blogging!