When I was preparing forty-plus backlist titles for publication as Open Road eBooks, I decided to add value by contributing an afterword of 1000-2000 words to be appended to the end of each book. It turned out to be fun to do, and I frequently found I had more to say about the circumstances of writing the book, and my life at the time, than about the text itself. After all, anyone reading an afterword could be presumed to have read the book, and no one ever mistook me for James Joyce or my books for Finnegan’s Wake. You don’t need me to tell you what you just read.

What I didn’t stop to realize was that the only people able to read my afterwords had already bought the books, and no matter how interesting my recollections might be, they wouldn’t be prompted to download a spare copy. I was preaching to the choir, after having first chased everybody else out of the church.

Then it struck me that, taken together, my various afterwords constituted a piecemeal memoir of my early years as a writer. I’d been urged to write such a memoir for years, and once turned out 50,000 words of one only to abandon it. And what I was writing now was better, because one thing age does, on its way to transforming you into a drooling and doddering wreck, is to render you rather more candid than you’ve been in the past. You get so you just don’t give a rat’s ass what people think of you.

So why not put all these pieces together and call them a book? And toss in some other bits, including the intros I did for the eight Tanner novels, and one written for a Mystery Guild special edition of The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling. And so on. And, because the book’s likely to serve a promotional function, why not make it remarkably easy to buy? Why not put it up there for 99¢—not as a short-time special, but as a regular thing?

My friends at Open Road liked the idea.]

But in the meantime here I am with a brand-new blog, and I’ve added this brand-new page to it, and perhaps I can use it to give you a foretaste of “Afterthoughts,” and possibly even induce you to sample one of my less-familiar works.

Where to begin? With this one, I think; it’s a book I still have a fondness for some 45 years after I wrote it. Some people see it as a forerunner of the Matthew Scudder series.