I don’t know what happened to March. It flew by on eagle wings. I spent much of the month doing promotional events for The Return of the Raven Mocker, but the end of the push for that book is near. Raven Mocker came out in January 2017, and three months of promotion is about the limit. My final events (or at least Raven Mocker final events) were on April 1 and 2, when I hosted Mary Anna Evans at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, AZ, and then traveled down to Tucson with her to do a workshop on characterization at Clues Unlimited bookstore. Mary Anna is a fellow Poisoned Pen Press author whose new book, Burials, is set in present day Oklahoma, so we fit together well.
The highlight of March is always the Tucson Festival of Books. This year I had a lot going on at TFoB–Besides doing some signings, I participated on a panel with Andrew Gross and moderated a panel with T. Jefferson Parker, Mette Ivey Harrison, and April Smith, and presented my usual workshop on writing historical mysteries. All my panel-mates are great people and the events went of swimmingly, but I think my favorite comment came when an audience member asked Andrew Gross what is the difference between a mystery and a thriller, and he answered, “About a million dollars.” Funny, but it does make me reconsider my career choices.
Since then, the big news is that my editor has given me the go-ahead on the tenth Alafair Tucker Mystery. I sent her the first 100 pages for her approval, and she approved heartily. So as things stand right now, if I can meet the June deadline for the finished manuscript, the new book is scheduled for February 2018. Title? As it now stands, I’m calling it Forty Dead Men.
During the American Civil War, the U.S. army issued cartridges to soldiers in boxes of forty.
Forty Dead Men takes place in 1919, shortly after the end of World War I. One of Alafair’s sons comes home from overseas, and all is definitely not well.