(First a little boost for a review I received yesterday: http://www.examiner.com/article/kaye-george-orchestrates-a-great-mystery-eine-kleine-murder)
Now, onto my topic~~
Last week was the anniversary of a day when my efforts of ten-plus years paid off. On Monday, the 14th of May, 2012, I talked to Kim Lionetti on the phone for nearly two hours. At the end of the conversation, I had agreed for her to be my agent!
In the year since then, a lot has happened. She set me to work on a project that she and her partner, Jessica Faust, had come up with. I hadn’t even finished it, though, when a chance for a work for hire cozy came to her from Berkley Prime Crime. It was a mystery set in Minneapolis, featuring an overweight cat name Quincy, and his mistress, Chase Oliver, the co-owner of a dessert bar shop. (A work for hire is written to the publisher’s idea, and the publisher will own the copyrights--but I’ll get paid normal royalties, etc.)
This was right up my alley for a couple of reasons. (1) I am a long-time cat owner and my most recent cat, Agamemnon, was a clever rascal, also slightly overweight. I would model the cat after him, although I’d change his coloring. I thought an orange tabby would look better on the cover than a black shorthair with extra long fangs. My cat had been a rescued feral and I swear he was reverting to saber-tooth tiger. You could see his fangs when his mouth was closed! He could be very sweet, but was exasperatingly smart. On several occasions, I saw him climb onto something next to a closed door and attempt to turn the knob. If he’d had a thumb, he could have done it.
(2) I once lived in the Minneapolis area for a little over 3 years. I’ll admit, it is my favorite place I’ve ever lived, and I’ve lived in a lot of places. My puzzlement was--how to set a cozy in the place where the darkest noir crime novels take place. Should I put it in Minnetonka, where we used to live? Hopkins, the next-door suburb, a bit closer to the Twin Cities themselves? My husband came up with a place he remembered from our stay there: Dinktytown. The name was perfect, but would it do?
I googled it extensively, a cute little area of just a few square blocks on the edge of the U of M campus, nestled between the campus and the Mississippi River. It’s on the east side of the river, where St. Paul lies, but this portion is technically Minneapolis--I checked. I got in contact with the president of the Dinktytown Business Association and he was supportive and kind, even sent me an excellent map of the area done cartoon style, highlighting the local businesses.
The upshot of all this is that I got a workable outline put together, wrote the first three chapters, and sent them off. I was in shock after I landed my awesome agent, but even more shocked when my proposal was accepted!
I got to meet Kim at Malice Domestic this year and she’s just as awesome in person as by email and phone. I can’t believe what a whirlwind this last year has been. (Plus we moved twice--yikes!)
This news has all been announced previously, but, for this anniversary, I thought I’d give some details on the background. I’m now about 3/4 (or maybe a little more) finished with the first draft of the as-yet-untitled first in the three-book FAT CAT series. It’s going well and I love the characters, especially that rascal, Quincy! (Look for the book sometime around the fall of 2014.)
Photo from Dreamstime