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Forty Dead Men
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Author's Notes

February Goings-On

February 6th, 2019

Things have been going well, thanks for asking. My husband Don is currently betwixt and between medical emergencies, and all is relatively quiet at Casa Casey, except for a couple of head colds.

Back to Business

Yesterday, February 5, I turned in to my publisher what I hope is the final version of the first book in my new series, a spin-off of the Alafair Tucker Mysteries. The new novel is called Lust For Vengeance, The Adventures of Bianca Dangereuse, Episode One, and stars Bianca LaBelle, silent movie star of the silver screen. It is set in Southern California during the Roaring Twenties. And, yes, Bianca has quite the connection to Alafair Tucker. Release of the new book has been somewhat up in the air because of the merger of my long-time publisher, Poisoned Pen Press, with Sourcebooks, but last I heard, Lust for Vengeance should be out around November, 2019. Now that Episode One is off my hands (I hope), I have begun writing Episode Two. I’m at the stage of the first draft where I want to pull all my hair out, which means it’s business as usual.

At the end of this month, I’ll be getting out of the house at last and teaching a class on Sunday, February 24, at 2:30 p.m. for the Society of Southwestern Authors—Valley of the Sun Chapter is on “The Fact in Fiction: Research for the Novelist.” The meeting will run from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Tempe Public Library, 3500 South Rural. I’m going to share the pitfalls and delights of research, including my experiences with primary, “free-style”, and experiential research, and how to avoid “time-sinks” and “info dumps” in one’s writing. Won’t you join me? The event is free for members and first time visitors.

It’s that time of year again–the Tucson Festival of Books is coming up on March 2 and 3, and I’ll be there. I’m participating on two panels this year. The first is on Sat, Mar 2, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm, in the Student Union Tucson Room, and is called Murder by Gaslight. Author Karen Odden and I will talk about how we use historical settings as backdrop for our mysteries, demonstrating that crime and its motives are universal. Karen’s new book, A Dangerous Duet, is set in Victorian London, so it should be an interesting contrast.

Then on Sunday, March 3, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., back again in the Student Union Tucson Room, I’ll be on a panel called Any Time is Crime Time. Rosemary Simpson (who writes mysteries set in New York in 1888) Joe Yogerst (his mystery is set in San Diego in the 1880s), and Yours Truly (latest mystery set in Oklahoma, 1919) will talk about how we’ve used various points in history to enrich our stories and prove that criminal behavior has been with us a long, long time.

And after my panel duties are done on Sunday, I’ll be signing at the Clues Unlimited booth on the mall from 3:00 to 3:45. The Tucson Book Festival is a huge event, with booths and food and over 400 authors of every genre and type from all over the U.S. and the world doing panels, workshops, and presentations. If you are anywhere near the state of Arizona on that first weekend of March, it’s well worth the trip to check out the festival in the beautiful weather and gorgeous scenery of historic Tucson.

On yet another happy note, I learned recently that my latest Alafair Tucker Mystery, Forty Dead Men, was named one of Barnes and Nobel’s best Indie books of 2018. If you have not read it yet, click on About This Book, left, and have a look at the first chapter. I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed writing it.