The seventh Alafair book, Hell With the Lid Blown Off, will be out early next month, so I’m in the midst of getting ready for a summer of promotion. I can’t quite decide what to do. Lots of guest blogs, probably. As many personal appearances around here (Arizona) as I can muster up. I’m considering a trip back to the motherland of Oklahoma for a book tour. Depends on how long I can afford to be on the road. I’d love to go back, but one has to wonder how much benefit there is to spending every bit of one’s advance and more on a book tour. Does an author gain enough exposure to make it worth it? I don’t know. It’s the eternal question.
The Press did send me a fabulous .pdf media kit for the new book. The kit contains a large cover, a blurb, ordering information, Donis’ biography and head shot, information about Donis’ six previous Alafair Tucker novels, and information about Poisoned Pen Press. You can see it here: Hell_With_the_Lid_Blown_Off_Media_Kit
You can also check out information about the new book at the Poisoned Pen Press website.
One thing I have been doing is updating this website. You can’t see the changes yet, I know. The pages for the new book exist, but they haven’t been published yet. I’m waiting for the webmaster to create a couple of extra pages and links before I put them all up. You can, however, check out the updated information on the “Truth or Fiction” page. (Hover over “Library”, above, then “Alafair Tucker Mysteries”, then click on “Truth or Fiction”). Or just click here.
The Truth or Fiction page is where I tell you a little bit about the inspiration for each of the seven Alafair Tucker books–where I got some of the ideas for the story, which of the characters are based on real people and which are total fiction, which incidents actually happened and which I made up from scratch. Here’s an excerpt from the new Hell With the Lid Blown Off section:
In The Wrong Hill to Die On, I sent Alafair, Shaw, and Blanche on a trip to Arizona to visit Alafair’s sister and allow the ailing Blanche to take advantage of the salubrious climate. Most of Alafair’s huge family was left behind in Oklahoma. ForHell With the Lid Blown Off, we’re back in Oklahoma and back with the whole gang. And the whole gang just keeps getting bigger as the years pass. By now all four older girls are engaged or married. The book starts off with one grandchild and ends up with four, plus six year old Chase Kemp, Alafair’s nephew whom she brought back with her from Arizona. I always try to do something different with each book, and in Hell I used some first person narration for the first time.
The character of Trenton Calder is fictional, but he doesn’t feel that way to me. Red-headed Trent has been lurking around in the background as Sheriff Scott Tucker’s deputy every since The Old Buzzard Had It Coming. Now he is front and center, and falling for the middlest of Alafair’s children, Ruth. Until this book, Ruth has been she of the freckled face and skinned knees who rides like the wind and plays the piano like an angel. But now she finds that men are looking at her differently, and she has no idea why or how to behave in her unfamiliar womanly face and body. Ruth’s employer and mentor, music teacher Beckie MacKenzie, looks just like a friend of mine, though her personality is quite different. The Eichelbergers, the Welshes, Dr. Ann and Dr. Jasper Addison (who is inspired by my great, great uncle, Addison Bourland, a doctor) have all been inhabiting Boynton since the beginning. Wallace MacKenzie, Randal Wakefield, and the Beldons (thank goodness) are all fictional.
—and speaking of truth or fiction, yesterday was my grandmother Casey’s birthday. She was the inspiration for the character of Alice, and quite a character herself. This is her in 1911, at the age of 17:
Happy Birthday, Grandma, and thanks for all the stories.