Sorry that I haven’t posted in awhile; I’ve been busy.
My planned trip to London for the month of April was abruptly canceled when I broke my right fifth metatarsal at the gym, requiring three months or so of recuperation. The good news: I’ve knuckled down and finished all edits for The Edwin Drood Murders and made major progress with polishing The Our Mutual Friend Murders and getting it ready to submit to agents and editors in hopes that my series will be picked up by a major house and given the national exposure I’ve been looking for.
I’m excited to see the cover for The Edwin Drood Murders. Illustrator Tina Granzo and designer Alan Dubinsky have again done an outstanding job. This book is darker than The Christmas Carol Murders; Alan created a new interior design and Tina’s cross-hatched drawings beautifully complement my story. I’ll be posting more of Tina’s illustrations in the months leading up to the publication date (late September 2013).
I feel as if I should give the death’s head a name. The beautiful ring in the book is named The Heart of Helsinki, and it plays a critical role in the mystery.
In other news, I’m working on my presentation for Dickens Universe in August; this year the Universe celebrates The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone, and both of those novels influenced characters, events and themes of The Edwin Drood Murders. I just learned that Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, the great-great-great-grandaughter of Charles Dickens, will also be presenting at the Universe this year, so I will be in truly august company!
Furthermore, Literary Arts in Portland has asked me back for another Delve seminar in early 2014, where I’ll be leading a six-week discussion of classic detective fiction, including several Poe stories, The Moonstone, The Hound of the Baskervilles (A. Conan Doyle) and Appointment With Death (Agatha Christie). The Christie novel contains one of Hercule Poirot’s most elaborate unravellings of all of the novels that feature his character, and I consulted it when I was getting ready to write the denouement of The Christmas Carol Murders.
I’m so sorry that I missed London this year. My plan is to try again in spring 2014 to spend several weeks visiting Dickens haunts and other British landmarks. Keep your unbroken toes crossed for me….
If you’ve got a clever name for Mr. or Ms. Death’s Head, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll give away an advance reading copy of The Edwin Drood Murders to the person who comes up with the best name!