It’s not easy to switch publishers mid-series but I’m pleased to say my terrific agent, Chris Bucci, managed to land me a new two-book deal with a new publisher. We don’t actually have a signed contract yet, and the formal announcement hasn’t been made, so mum’s the word for the moment as to who it is. Needless to say, I’m pretty happy that Inspector Ramirez and his side-kick, Apiro, will be back in print along with other characters like Detective Espinoza, Charlie Pike, Celia Jones, and Miles O’Malley. (There’s a host of new characters, too.)
Book Three, Hungry Ghosts, is being read by my copy editor right now for a confirmed June release. I hope to have his editorial notes later this week so we can get serious about getting the manuscript finalized before I head into my busy season in real estate and run out of time.
And I’ve sent the first draft of Book Four, Umbrella Man, out to my external readers, as well as my new publisher, for feedback. I want to make sure it’s headed in the right direction early on, before I get committed to the plot and can’t easily make changes. (If you’ve read my work, you’ll know the plots are always complicated.)
When I first started in this business, I found the whole editing process intimidating, angst-ridden and emotional. (Mind you, I’d also re-written The Beggar’s Opera at least seventy times — yes, that’s 70 times — before it got short-listed for the Debut Dagger and picked up by an agent–I was getting a little sick of re-writing it. And I’d also made the mistake of making almost every change that the agents who had read it had recommended, so that by the time the book hit the formal editing process, some of the proposed changes were asking me to undo what another agent had told me to do–it was really very frustrating.
But I’m actually looking forward to hearing what my copy editor and my publisher have to say about the book that’s in the queue and the one that’s just entering it, and what changes I can make to improve both books. What I’ve learned from the first two books is that when someone flags an issue, their solution may not necessarily be the one I will end up choosing, or even should accept, but the underlying concern — something that’s bugging them or isn’t working as well as it might — is worth paying attention to.
I’ll let you know when the announcement comes out!