And what, pray tell, could that possibly mean? All it means is I was looking for a colorful alternative to Black Friday and Orange Wednesday and didn’t want to slight any of the little darlings in the Crayola box.

Never mind. I’m pleased to tell you that I’ve completed the expanded updated edition of WRITING THE NOVEL FROM PLOT TO PRINT TO PIXEL, bringing a book that was continually in print since 1978 into what my calendar tells me is the 21st Century. The new edition is half again as long as the original, and while I haven’t cut anything (for how could I bare to prune any of my own imperishable words?) I’ve added a lot—about ebooks, self-publishing, and other phenomena undreamt of 37 years ago. The book’s currently in the hands of my Production Goddess, and I’ll be publishing it as an ebook and trade paperback early in 2016. I’m not sure of the price, that’ll depend on my costs, but I’ll keep it as low as I can, and will fill you in shortly after the first of the year.

So that’s it for 2016?

blue eyes orbikUh, not quite. In July, Hard Case Crime will bring out The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes in paperback. While I know most of you will already have the novel in hardcover or ebook, I also know there’s an ardent band who collect all Hard Case publications in paperback; if you’re a member of that tribe, the book’s currently available for pre-order.

Our Blue-Eyed Girl’s been getting some attention lately. David Morrell has been a great cheerleader for the book, and interviewed me for The Big Thrill, the magazine of the International Thriller Writers (Note to self: register now for ITW’s Thrillerfest, NYC, July 5-9.) And Joel Meadows has some provocative questions for me for the online magazine Tripwire.

Also due from Hard Case, though not until the fall, is an early crime novel of mine that was completely lost for half a century. And yes, genuinely lost; I spent years searching for it, and even blogged about it, and then it turned up out of nowhere thanks to a Facebook friend. The book’s called Sinner Man, and includes an afterword detailing how and when it was written, how it disappeared, and the manner in which it miraculously materialized. I’ll let y’all know as soon as it’s available for pre-order—which will probably happen as soon as Hard Case has the cover finished. (And I can’t wait to see it myself!)

In a previous newsletter, I alluded to an anthology I’ve got in the works. I can tell you a little more about it, starting with the title—In Sunlight or in Shadow—and the subtitle: Fifteen Stories Inspired by Paintings of Edward Hopper.

automatIsn’t that a wonderful premise? I floated it to a batch of A-list authors, and it turned out that Hopper’s work resonated powerfully for just about all of them. I’m superstitious enough to tell you only the names of those writers who’ve already delivered finished stories: Joyce Carol Oates, Jill D. Block, Warren Moore, Joe R. Lansdale, Robert Olen Butler, and Jeffery Deaver. They’re all outstanding stories, each linked to a different painting, and I can’t wait for the rest to arrive. (And, while it’s not for me to assess its merits, my own story is finished. It’s inspired by Hopper’s Automat, illustrated here.

Pegasus Books will be publishing the book, beautifully printed and fully illustrated, in November—a good time, as I can’t think of a better Christmas gift. You’d be well advised to pre-order if you want to guarantee a first edition, and I’ll let you know as soon as it’s possible to do that.

Sounds great, but it must be a lot of work for you. Doesn’t it cut into your writing time?

Damn right it does, and I’m forever grateful to it for so doing. Still, it doesn’t cut deeply enough. I’ve got a new short story in the works, with the working title of “Traveling Light.” At least I thought it was going to be a short story, but it’s been growing longer. We’ll see how it winds up.

erin mitchellAnd that’s enough for now, except that I’m going to end this newsletter in uncharacteristic fashion. I don’t ordinarily ask y’all for money, aside from whatever you choose to shell out for my books, but here’s something that might appeal to any of you with a couple of extra bucks lying around. My Marketing Goddess, Erin Mitchell, is an ardent and enthusiastic fan of crime fiction, a staunch advocate of writers and readers, and one of my favorite people. In one sense nobody has a better heart, but in another very physical sense almost everybody does; she’s gonna have to get a new one.

So—there’s a fundraising effort underway, and you might want to support it. Or not, but I thought I’d give you the choice.



PS: As always, please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might find it of interest. And, if you’ve received the newsletter in that fashion from a friend and would like your own subscription, that’s easily arranged; a blank email to with Newsletter in the subject line will get the job done.
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