New Year, New Book, New Virtual Home

2010 is nearly over … and it’s been quite a year! The Year of the Tiger is transitioning to the Year of the Rabbit (a good luck year) and my calendar for the next twelve months is already booking up!

I’ll have two releases in 2011, a fact which I still haven’t fully taken in. February 1st marks the release of THE CURSE-MAKER, the follow-up to my very first book, NOX DORMIENDA. I’m very grateful to my publisher, Thomas Dunne, both for giving me a chance to write two series and for giving Arcturus, Gwyna, Bilicho and the rest (Gee–I hope that doesn’t sound too much like the Gilligan’s Island theme song) a second life.

NOX was originally published with Five Star, a wonderful small press that caters to libraries … and I’ll always be tremendously grateful to them for publishing my first book and  giving me the confidence to pursue my dreams. Come February, I’m going to be really verklempt at seeing my first characters in bookstores everywhere! 🙂

I’m kicking off the book tour early, signing at one of my favorite places—a library conference! Thanks to Thomas Dunne/Minotaur, we’re giving away limited advanced readers copies of THE CURSE-MAKER (and hard covers of CITY OF DRAGONS) at the American Library Association conference in San Diego. I can’t wait! I’ve even designed a couple of special stamps for CURSE-MAKER signings at independent bookstores and libraries, similar to the program we developed for CITY OF DRAGONS.

Speaking of Miranda …

CITY OF SECRETS will be published next September, along with the paperback of CITY OF DRAGONS. This second Miranda Corbie novel is a heavy-hitting look at  native fascist and anti-Semitic organizations that proliferated throughout the country in the 1930s and up to our entrance into World War II. Opening with the murder (by ice pick) of a peep show girl on the Gayway, it takes Miranda on a dark journey through Treasure Island, San Francisco, and the Napa Valley of 1940. I’m proud of the book, and hope you enjoy it!

I’m also hoping to extend my book tour to Chicago and the Midwest, so that I can meet more great readers and visit more book stores (and of course, stock up on Chicago hot dogs!)

2011 is a heavy travel year. I’ll be in Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Diego to sign  THE CURSE-MAKER, Santa Fe for Left Coast Crime, back to Los Angeles for the RT Book Lover’s Convention and hopefully the LA Times Festival, and if all goes as planned, New York for Thrillerfest. Then it’s Ashland, Oregon for their wonderful Books and Old Lace series and St. Louis for Bouchercon and another book tour for CITY OF SECRETS.

In between popping Airborn vitamins and waiting for luggage, I’ll be working on the third Miranda, which will be a prequel to CITY OF DRAGONS—and all about the Incubator Babies case she mentions. I am also honored to be serving as MWA (Mystery Writers of America) President of my region this year.

CITY OF DRAGONS has been nominated for the best historical mystery readers choice award by RT Book Reviews, and I’m very, very grateful! I’m also thrilled to announce that CoD made Oline Cogdill’s “Best Mysteries of the Year” list in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, and the San Francisco Chronicle’s list of “Best Fiction by Bay Area Authors”. Both lists were announced yesterday, so it’s been quite a weekend! 🙂 I’m also delighted that January Magazine and The Rap Sheet chose David Rotstein’s beautiful cover of CoD as one of the year’s best!

The other new thing in my life is home-related … virtual home, that is! My new website is built on WordPress, and offers a ton of cool features—like a full-function playlist for CITY OF DRAGONS, actual post cards, photos, maps and other ephemera that helped inspired the book, videos, discussion forum, essays, photo galleries, instant message shout-box, audio snippets, and all kinds of interactive, fun multimedia designed to enhance enjoyment of my writing. Right now, we’re giving away advanced readers copies of THE CURSE-MAKER!

One of my goals next year is to blog more often, so that I don’t overload my posts with news … and another, personal goal is to take each day at a time, savoring the laughter of family and friends, the fog drifting by my window, the “old paper” smell that permeates my bookshelf.  Years—months—days—go by all too quickly, and I’m going to do what I can to slow them down a little. 🙂

Thank you all for reading, for that amazing act of trust and leap of faith you make when you pick up a book (or click on an RSS feed)! And thank you, too, for the many emails, tweets, and Facebook hellos I receive throughout the year.

I am one lucky writer!!

Have a wonderful, warm and peaceful holiday season, and see you next year!!