A year ago I worried that aging would decrease the speed and quality of my writing. I wondered if I had the stamina and sharpness to complete a solid 90,000-word mystery. Over 2015 I found that I wrote more slowly—partly because I don’t always work a full day anymore—and spent more time rewriting and editing. Even so, I finished my fifth mystery, Show Me the Sinister Snowman, and began rewriting an earlier mystery while new Phoenix the Spy ideas jell.
In short, going into 2016, my pleasure in writing fiction endures, and my output remains satisfactory. The truth is that I write better than I do anything else—except maybe talk about my writing. I resolve to do plenty of both in 2016. I make no promises about cleaning my house or taking care of my yard.
No one knows the future, but here are highlights of what I expect to happen in 2016.
In late January or early February, Rocking Horse Publishing will release Thunder Beneath My Feet, my novel set during the devastating New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812. This is a historical adventure with mystery elements, and I expect it to appeal to everyone from fourth graders who like to read to adults who enjoy history. (My beta readers included all ages.)
I’ll be reviewing my mounds of unused research to write blogs that offer readers, including teachers, background on the period, place, and people.
Missouri winters interfere with such scheduled events as book signings, so I’ll concentrate on writing and make few appearances until the release in late March of Show Me the Ashes, the fourth in my mystery series. May as well promote two books at once.
April through June I’ll divide my time between writing and promoting, which includes giving talks and possibly workshops here and elsewhere, speaking at such conferences as Malice Domestic, and writing guest blogs.
During the summer I expect to finish rewriting Ancestral Plot. Late summer initiates conference season and the chance to introduce new readers to my books. On my tentative schedule are Killer Nashville, Magna cum Murder, the regional Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and our local Show Me Writers MasterClass.
Before winter comes again, I expect to celebrate the release of Show Me the Sinister Snowman, anticipate the publication of Ancestral Plot, and begin work on another book.
I resolve to enjoy 2016 and hope all who bother to read this far do the same.
Happy New Year!