All Hallows’ Eve

As I write this, my neighborhood is full of ghoulies and ghosties and short-leggedy beasties, all scrambling for candy. Dressed in hodge-podge homemade costumes and store-bought accessories, kids of all ages revel in Halloween and the celebration of social trust it represents. I do, too. 🙂 All Hallows’ Eve is a magical night …

It was just three years ago, on a Halloween night in 2006, when I finished the sequel to NOX DORMIENDA. I had neither a publisher nor representation, and I wasn’t at all sure I would be able to find either. But I had to finish MALEDICTUS (Cursed), had to finish a story that was wrapped up, in a way, with Halloween. A story dealing with curses, with ghosts, with necromancers, and with violations of that social compact that underlies our modern holiday.

Sure, it takes place two thousand plus years ago, nine months after the events of NOX DORMIENDA — in October, 84 A.D. But it’s a Halloween type of mystery, and a continuation of Roman Noir, all the same.

It’s been quite a three years. NOX was published, won the Bruce Alexander Award for best historical mystery, was nominated for a Macavity, and will be published in Italy and Greece. My second series, set in 1940 San Francisco, is going to be published by Thomas Dunne/Minotaur starting with CITY OF DRAGONS on February 2, 2010. A short story prequel to CITY OF DRAGONS will be in FIRST THRILLS, an upcoming International Thriller Writers anthology featuring bestselling and emerging authors, publishing in June of next year by Tor … my story “Children’s Day” will be in print among writers whose work I venerate.

And now … the Arcturus Series will continue! My Halloween book, finished three years ago tonight, will be published by Thomas Dunne/Minotaur. We’re calling it CURSED, and hoping that it does NOT live up to its name. 😉

We celebrated at Bouchercon, this and other good news … CITY OF DRAGONS will be available through all three major book clubs (Mystery Guild alternate selection; Book of the Month, Quality Paperback Book Club). We gathered as a community of mystery readers and writers and publishers and media, and in that gathering I celebrated career things, personal things, family things, mostly the feeling of being very, very blessed in many ways. I count those blessings every day.

And on Halloween … even with a lingering cough from a bout of bronchitis … I like to spread those blessings around. 🙂 Have a safe, blessed, and wonderful All Hallows’ Eve … and thanks for reading Writing in the Dark!