Well, hello there, and Happy New Year! Whether you’re reading this before or after one year turns into another, know that I wish you nothing but joy in the Year of the Monkey, 2016.

Cover_Ebook_Writing the NovelWe’re kicking it off with Writing the Novel from Plot to Print to Pixel (known affectionately around here as P2P2P). This expanded (half again as large)and updated (with new material on ebooks and self-publishing) version of my 1978 volume has a release date of January 4, but you can pre-order the ebook now for Kindle, Nook, Apple, or Kobo. It’s priced at $9.99.

Because it’s the sort of book one wants to be able to return to and skip around in, many of you will probably prefer a printed copy. The handsome trade paperback runs to 300 pages, and should be available from online booksellers by the release date or shortly thereafter. But you don’t have to wait—you can order it right now for immediate delivery from the CreateSpace Store. The price is $16.99.

01_Cover_No ScoreAs the year winds down, so has my five-year relationship with Open Road, who did such a splendid job of making over forty of my backlist titles eVailable. I’ve decided it’s time for me to take a hands-on role in packaging and marketing those books, and that’s going to keep me and my Production Goddess busy for months to come. First up will be the four-volume Chip Harrison series, a tricky marketing proposition in that the first two titles, No Score and Chip Harrison Scores Again, are lighthearted romps with an erotic element, while the later books, Make Out With Murder and The Topless Tulip Caper, are classic-style puzzle mysteries with an erotic element. (Chip, a sort of Lecher in the Wry, goes to work for Leo Haig, a sort of road company Nero Wolfe. Oh, you’ll see. For a taste of the characters, “As Dark as Christmas Gets” is a Chip Harrison/Leo Haig story set in Otto Penzler’s Mysterious Bookshop.) We’ll be bringing out all four Chips as ebooks and trade paperbacks, and this illustration bigstock_darkaschristmasgetsof No Score is one of the four covers created by the ever-resourceful Production Goddess.

Upwards of 35 years ago, I heard a man recount a personal experience, and it resonated strongly for me, then tucked itself away in that rag-and-bone shop I call a mind. (Secreted itself in a nook, or maybe it was a cranny. Never mind.) Back in October, coming home from Bouchercon in Raleigh on Amtrak’s Carolinian, it bubbled up—and I decided it could be the beginning of a short story. So I had a go at it after I finished work on P2P2P, and what was supposed to be a short story grew into a 20,000-word novella. The title is “Resume Speed,” and it’ll be eVailable sometime within the next month or so, and you can look forward to hardcover publication (both trade and limited) by a favorite small press publisher a bit later in 2016. And no, it’s not part of a series, and neither is it going to be expanded into a novel. It is what it is, and I’ll cast modesty to the winds and say I’m well pleased with it, and can but hope you share my enthusiasm.

We spent Christmas week in Reykjavik, where cloud cover kept us from seeing the Northern Lights and ice underfoot kept us from getting around as much as we’d have liked, but we had a wonderful time anyway. And it’s good to be back, and back at work. And that’s as much as you need to hear from me in 2015.

Talk to you next year!


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