Hmm. At least two entries in this pseudo-blog seem to have disappeared into cyberspace, which somehow doesn't surprise me. I'll try to reconstruct the events of 2005, which have been many and varied. Relics hit the shelves in August, along with the new trade paperback edition of Artifacts and they both continue to sell well. Relics is getting wonderful reviews, which I've posted on the "Reviews" page of this site..
Another wonderful development from Ingram Books, a major distributor of books in the US. They select about two novels every month to feature in their e-newsletter, the Advance Handseller. This publication is intended to call booksellers’ attention to books with the potential to be “the next big thing” or a “sleeper hit,” as they say on their website. Out of all the books published in August, they chose Relics as one of their picks. I went to Ingram's Nashville headquarters in September where my publisher Rob Rosenwald and I met and greeted buyers for libraries and bookstores, giving away a tremendous stack of books. Besides Nashville, I've signed Relics so far in 11 states, with a few more left to go.
The next Faye Longchamp mystery, Effigies, is under contract to Poisoned Pen Press, which plans to publish it in January/February 2007. I'm about a third of the way into it, with my deadline still several months away, so things are looking good. It will be set in Neshoba County, Mississippi, and it will explore the conflicts between archaeologists who want to study and preserve cultural Artifacts, landowners who want to preserve their property rights, and Native Americans who object to having their ancestors' graves disturbed. I'm a native Mississippian, so I'm happy to be "going home" with this one.
I have a short story in a new anthology called A Kudzu Christmas. This is my first story in print, which is quite gratifying for a writer who wrote a tremendous number of rejected stories during her formative years. The story is called "A Singularly Unsuitable Word," and I'm happy to e-mail a copy to those of you who are Anthony or Agatha voters.
I've submitted my story and song, both called "Land of the Flowers" for an upcoming anthology with accompanying CD called A Merry Band of Murderers. All the writers have been professional musicians at some time in the past, and we all wrote and recorded original songs to go with our stories. I'll remind y'all next September when it comes out.
I had articles in the September issue of Mystery Readers' Journal and the October issue of Mystery Scene, which made me feel like a contributing member of the mystery community. Attending Bouchercon and Magna Cum Murder had the same effect. We mystery readers are a fun, warm, and welcoming bunch, and I'm proud to play my small part in that.
A non-work-related highlight to the year was our recent trip to the Galapagos. A non-work-related lowlight to the year was my recent neck surgery, from which I'm recovering very well. Then I'll have jaw surgery for Christmas (pureed turkey for Christmas dinner, anyone?), and when all that's done, I hope to be free of some chronic pain issues that have put a damper on the last few years.
I've got upcoming events in St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Delray Beach, Gainesville, Safety Harbor, and Panama City, Florida; Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Columbus, Georgia. Come see me if you can--I love to put names to faces!