Well, 2014 is one of those house guests I’ll be happy to say goodbye to. She was charming but temperamental and demanding and could be a real bitch at times. I’m hoping 2015 is a little more reliable and easy-going.
The year ahead for me will see the Inspector Ramirez series resurface after eighteen months in hiatus due to a change in publishers. Simon and Schuster Canada, my wonderful new publisher, saw major changes in 2014 itself, becoming a freestanding Canadian publisher. I love their optimism and professionalism.
The action in Hungry Ghosts is split between a northern Indian reserve and Cuba and involves the issue of murdered and missing indigenous women, as well as an art heist in Havana. All the familiar characters are there, including Charlie Pike. I know that Simon and Schuster Canada thinks that the developments in Cuban-American relations could be a game-changer for this series: fingers crossed! It will be out in Canada on June 2. I’ll be hosting an art exhibition as part of the launch and that has me very excited. (See previous post; there are some amazing artists involved in this venture.)
(By the way, I’m still looking for a U.S. publisher for Hungry Ghosts and the fourth book in the series, Umbrella Man: I hold all the rights outside of Canada to these two books, so if you’re a publisher and interested, phone me.)
The video montage/podcast of a prequel to the Ramirez series that I’ve been working on for years is stalled again. I’m thinking I may just release the audio in segments, serialized, but I haven’t yet given up on the video aspect of things. I’ll keep you posted.
Umbrella Man, the espionage thriller, will be published in 2015 and is out with external readers now. Very happy to have such accomplished group of beta readers: one teaches comparative Cuban-American literature in the U.S.; another has completed a graduate degree in detective fiction. The feedback so far has been great. Simon and Schuster loves this book and thinks it could be a breakout novel: it involves a CIA plot to kill Raul Castro.
I continue to work on Famine Bay (formerly called The Jigonsaseh), the story of how a Haudenosaunee peace woman ended up waging war on New France. I was lucky enough to get a Canada Council grant to research and write this one, and I love the story, which is based on a true one. Unfortunately, the early drafts have had some major structural issues: I hired Alex Schultz, my freelance editor, to help me identify what needs fixing. I should have his second pass back in a few weeks and then hope to finish the novel and start shopping it around.
So, while I didn’t have a book out in 2014 (with the exception of some foreign rights publications), it’s been a busy year on the writing front. A bit like synchronized swimming I think, where everything looks calm but there’s a lot of frantic activity going on beneath the surface.
Anyway, that’s my year ahead (that, and lots of house sales, I hope!) All the best to you in 2015 – have a Happy New Year!