And not a moment too soon. I’m back from five weeks on the North Atlantic, the same cruise I took two years ago to write The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons. FINAL-GirlWDeepBlueEyes orbik copyThis time I shared my cabin with a beautiful woman instead of a novel in progress, and I have to say it was an improvement. We enjoyed ourselves no end, but we’re home, and just in time for Hard Case Crime’s publication of The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes.

September 22 in the official on-sale date, but there’ll be plenty of first-edition copies for me to sign at the Mysterious Bookshop on Thursday, September 17, where I’ll share the stage with Nathan Ward and Reed Farrel Coleman. (They’re both fine gentlemen and outstanding writers, so come on down even if you’ve grown understandably weary of me. The party starts at 6:30 at 58 Warren Street, New York NY 10007.)

You’d think I’d be used to all this, wouldn’t you? It’s been something like 57 years since my first book was published, and I’m not sure exactly how many have followed it. But it’s still exciting, not least of all because the book has been generating more than the usual amount of buzz and pulling in terrific reviews. Traditional media have to curb their enthusiasm until the release date, but bloggers and online reviewers are under no such constraint, and they’ve been posting plenty and tweeting up a storm. Modesty wouldn’t stop me from quoting them, but space considerations will; you can see a good selection on Hard Case’s Amazon page.

If you want an autographed copy, well, that’s easy. Just the other day I signed copies at the publisher’s offices, and they went out to these superb mystery booksellers, any of whom will cheerfully sell you a copy while supplies last: The Poisoned Pen Seattle Mystery Bookshop Mysterious Galaxy Uncle Edgar’s Mystery Books Book Carnival Murder on the Beach VJ Books

And, of course, Mysterious Bookshop will have a good supply. If you want your book personally inscribed, call Ian at (800) 352-2840 to place your order. (You might want to do this, um, sooner rather than later. Right away, in fact…)

Will you be offering signed copies in your eBay bookstore?

Why would we do that when we’ve got all these excellent dealers on board? David’s back from vacation, so LB’s Bookstore is open again, but we won’t be stocking Ms. Blue Eyes. (Not now, at any rate. A couple of years from now, when she’s out of print and enterprising folks are asking $99 a copy, we’ll look like heroes when we price ours at $50.)

Any book tours planned?

Nope. I’ll be going to Raleigh October 8-11 for Bouchercon, and along with a couple of panels I’ll have a signing session there, but that’s hardly enough to qualify as a book tour. I toured relentlessly for many years, as some of you will recall, and Lord knows I enjoyed it, but I’m afraid those days are over; the business has changed almost beyond recognition, and so have I. I’m not the eager young lad I once was.

Besides, I’ve got other things I need to do.

Like what?

I had such a good time putting Dark City Lights together, I’ve got another anthology in the works. It’s too early to tell you more than that, but I spent this past week writing my own contribution for it, and I have to say I’m pleased with the way it came out.

Next on my to-do list is Writing the Novel from Plot to Print. This was my first instructional book for writers,published in 1979, and until a couple of years ago it never went out of print. What it did manage to become, however, is out of date; a friend who’s a regular reviewer of writing books told me the book’s still one of her favorites, but it needs updating. Updating and expanding, I’ve since realized, and in a properly designed universe there would be elves who’d take care of it for me, but the little rascals are thin on the ground in these parts. So there’s really nothing for it but to put my nose to the grindstone and my shoulder to the wheel and bite the bullet, which is no easy task in that position.

You’ll have a lot to add to the new edition. Ebooks, self-publishing…

All that and more. And thanks for reminding me about the ebook of The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes, which is available right now for pre-order at Amazon  Nook  Kobo and Apple.

And what else can I tell you? I don’t want to forget Buffalo Noir, edited by Brigid Hughes and my friend Ed Park, with stories that reveal my hometown as a dark place indeed. The book’s not out yet, but PW certainly liked it.

And that’s enough from me. I taped the women’s US Open semifinals, and once I get this on its way I’m going to go all glassy-eyed in front of the TV. It’s a rich life…



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