The final draft of Effigies is at the typesetter, so I am in that exciting but vaguely nervous-making gestational stage--it's too late to change the book, but too early to start organizing my promotional travel. I'm amusing myself by plotting the next book and spending time with my younger daughter, who will enter middle school this month. My other two children are college students with apartments of their own, but they're both still in town, so my husband and I still see them often. How time flies...
My publisher, Poisoned Pen Press, has opened a branch in the UK, so my books are coming out "across the pond," which seems very cosmopolitan to this Mississippi-bred girl. Artifacts came out in August, Relics is due out in September, and Effigies will come out in April 2007, shortly after its US publication date of February 2007.
Two of my short stories will be out in anthologies this month--"Land of the Flowers" will come out in A Merry Band of Murderers, and "Mouse House" will be in North Florida Noir. I also have an essay called "The Caves of Steel" in Mystery Muses, a collection of essays by mystery writers discussing classic books that have influenced their own writing.
I've started blogging, a development that has stunned my offspring. "Mom. A blog? But...what will you write about?" My answer: "Don't worry. I won't write about you. Much." I blog with four other mystery-writing women and we call ourselves "The Lady Killers." Check us out here:
On the personal front, I've traveled a bit since I last updated this page. In April, I enjoyed a week-long book tour with one of my blogmates, Rhys Bowen, as we took a slice through mid-America, traveling from Pennsylvania to Indiana to Kentucky to Tennessee to Alabama to Florida. In May, my husband and I took a fifteenth-anniversary trip to Hawaii (delayed 11 months due to our respective schedules, but at least we got it in before our 16th.) And, in June, we took our youngest child on a two-week trip through Italy, accompanied by 13 other Evanses. (Italy has survived invading armies before, and it apparently survived us.)
On the way home from Italy, I had quite a medical adventure. Imagine emergency-room level abdominal pain. Imagine you are 35,000 feet in the air and will continue to be there for 12 hours. Imagine that your ten-year-old daughter is sitting next to you. (When she asks, with her little brow furrowed, "Are you okay, Mommy?" what can you do but slap on a smile and say brightly, "I'm fine! Mommy's just fine!"?) When we finally landed, I had my first ambulance ride to a hospital near Washington DC. Sparing you the gory details, let's just say that I left my gall bladder there. And then I had some kind of endoscopic thingie to fetch some hard-to-reach stones. And then my pancreas objected to its ill treatment. (Pancreatitis is something I highly do not recommend.) Ten days later, the hospital finally let me go. Whenever I wonder how sick I really was, I ask myself, "My insurance company okayed ten days in the hospital????"
I'm recovering spectacularly well, but the doctors told me to cancel my appearances for two months, so if you were planning to come see me on my North Carolina tour, I'm sorry. I'll reschedule it next spring, after Effigies comes out. I was supposed to volunteer, along with my mother and my youngest child at an archaeological dig at a very important site in Indiana called Fort Ancient, but I had to cancel that, too. I'm sure we'll get over the disappointment someday...
I'll be back to normal and back on the road in September, appearing at the SIBA Book Show in Orlando; at Bouchercon in Madison; at Magna Cum Murder in Muncie, Indiana; and at the National Council of Teachers of English convention in Nashville. And probably other places, so watch this site. I don't like to let grass grow under my feet.