First, can we just skip over the fact that it’s been nearly two years since my last newsletter? Honest, I have lots of excuses … um, reasons … why it’s taken me so long.
The big news is that after more than 26 years with Bantam, I am now moving to another publisher, Grand Central, a division of Hachette Books USA (formerly Time-Warner). I didn’t want to announce that until the contract had been signed, and contracts take a while in publishing, so …
I’m looking forward to working with the people at Grand Central, especially given their enthusiasm for my work and the plans they have for my future. And proving the adage that if you remain in publishing, even at one house, long enough, you work with everyone in New York, my editor at GC is someone I’ve worked with in the past, actually the editor who helped launch the Bishop series back in 2000, Beth de Guzman.
For fans of the Bishop series, please know that Bishop and Co. will continue; my first contract with Grand Central is for the next Bishop trilogy. I’ll report on the next keyword and set of titles (Thanks Facebook friends!) for that trilogy a bit later. As long as you readers enjoy the series as much as I do, the Bishop/SCU books will continue. Oh – and according to my mail, the vast majority of you loved the character bios in the back of Blood Ties, and the handful of footnotes referencing earlier titles in the series, so I mean to keep that up. Though I’ll also bow to numerous requests and put my Author’s Note about them at the front of the book so you’ll know where the extra info is.
The reissues of my “classic” romances will also continue via Bantam, between two and four titles published each year until all the out-of-print books are available once again. With the publication of Raven on the Wing on May 25, 2010, we’ve officially reached my most requested series of romance titles, a series that ultimately ran 11 books total (Counting In Serena’s Web, published in March, sort of a prequel.) and which I always referred to as the Raven series; others called it the Hagen series. Those of you who typically don’t read romance, please be aware that this series is where I first really began flexing my suspense muscles a bit, so every title in the series has suspense subplots you might find interesting.
For fans of Quinn and Morgan and the Thief books, I have to apologize – and explain something I really couldn’t explain before now. The reason the Thief series has been on hold so long has nothing to do with my enthusiasm for writing the books (I’m extremely anxious to do so), or my workload, or any non-writing demands on my time. The simple reason the series has not continued to date is because Bantam did not want to publish them; despite the success of the first two books in the series, the person in charge up there wasn’t interested in publishing more. And since I was contractually bound to write the Bishop books, and could not take the Thief series elsewhere, I was more or less stuck – and couldn’t publicly explain why.
I believe the situation at Grand Central will be different. I do plan to turn in at least the first two books on the new contract before broaching the subject with GC, but my ultimate plan is to publish two series books each year, one Bishop/SCU book, and one Thief book. I’m perfectly capable of writing at that pace, and look forward to exploring, with the Thief series, plots with a lighter touch, more adventure, romance, humor, and – possibly – the sort of “magic” that comes along with cursed jewels and the like.
Please stay tuned, and I’ll let you know as soon as there are firm plans to publish the next in the Thief series. I know you’ve been very patient about this, and I really do appreciate it!
A final publication note is a reminder that the paperback of Blood Ties, last of the Blood trilogy, will be published at the end of August. So if you missed it in hardcover, please do look for it then.
On the personal front, my sister and I, who as many of you know co-own Fireside Books and Gifts, an indie bookstore, are hip-deep in plans to renovate a nearly-100-year-old building in downtown Forest City and move the bookstore there. The building, built as a theater called The Romina, is filled with wonderful old architectural details that make it a registered Historical Building, and we aim to keep as many of those details as possible and integrate them into what will be a much larger, better located, and altogether fantastic bookstore.
Please do keep an eye on my website and Fireside’s (www.firesidebooksandgifts.com) for updates. I’m expecting some fun pictures to be posted when we begin renovating in earnest, and some very cool ones when the work is done.
Re my other passion, building a new animal shelter in my area, the Community Pet Center is, right now, closer than it’s ever been to becoming a reality. Our County Commissioners are about to set the upcoming budget, and we’re lobbying hard to be in it; if so, we could have a new facility within the upcoming year. Keep your fingers crossed, please! Also, yesterday was our fourth annual Festival on the Field fundraiser; we had an excellent turnout, with hundreds of people showing up (80% with their dogs, which was great!) for delicious food, fun, music, and games and crafts for the kids, as well as agility demonstrations and a dog show with categories such as Best Kisser and Biggest Dog.
I think I can safely say that a good time was had by all, and that we raised some much-needed funds for our programs and for the new facility.
I enjoyed some downtime while the new contract was being negotiated, catching up (well, partly) on my reading and doing some work here on the dream Castle. My garage has been reworked a bit; though it can still hold cars as intended, it now looks more like a very large room with cabinetry and a cool black-and-white diamond-checked floor, with cabinetry for more storage – and for kitty cubbies, since its primary purpose has become a comfortable and homey place for my fosters to live while we look for their forever homes.
The pets are all well, I’m happy to say. Bandit and Lizzie officially become “senior dogs” this year, both turning eight, but their senior checkups showed them both to be in excellent health, so my hope is for many more happy years with them. And all three of my senior cats (Bonnie, Ginger, and Kitsy) are doing just fine.
I could use a few more hours in the day to have the time to do everything I want and need to do, but otherwise I’m flourishing. I check in on Facebook as often as I can, still read all my email (though I’m woefully behind in answering), and am working on the next Bishop book. It’s already reached Summer – hot here in North Carolina, but I can’t really complain. Yet. :)
In the meantime, Happy Reading!