I've talked here about taking new paths and taking turns along the road. This week, it's more like I'm adding a couple of lanes.
LANE ONE: I'm a classically trained violinist and have been playing since I was ten. That's quite a few years by now. I've played in many community orchestras and string quartets, have done several string quartet arrangements and one full orchestration. So, if by osmosis if nothing else, I've absorbed a bit of music knowledge.
When I first started writing mysteries, I used a classical musician as my sleuth, adhering to the adage "Write what you know." My experience was, well, dismal after awhile. I queried agent after agent. Several of them liked parts of it, some of them liked all of it. None of them thought they could sell it. They didn't think enough people would be interested in reading about classical music. I cited community orchestra and band participation numbers in my query letters to no avail. If Dick Francis can base a mystery on banking, I thought, why can't I base one on music? I wrote a sequel and queried it. Finally, in defeat, I turned to something else.
Eventually, my mystery, CHOKE, got picked up by a small press. That was last year and things have been happening rapidly in the publishing world lately. Small presses are proliferating and lots of good writers are getting their stuff published without having to query for ten years like I did.
One day, out of the blue, a publisher asked to see my musician series. I call is my Cressa Carraway series. She's looked at my website and was interested. She didn't pick it up, but I reviewed if after letting it lie dormant while I worked on other things. Not bad at all, I decided, and started sending it out again.
Here's the good part--I'm signing a contract with Barking Rain Press to publish the first book in that series! Isn't their logo cute? The schedule is ambitious, so I hope to go through edits and publication and have more news on this before you know it. You'll see a bit about the book on my webpage, at the bottom. It's called SONG OF DEATH there, but the title is changing.
LANE TWO: A short story anthology came out yesterday with one of my stories inside its covers! The antho is called HE HAD IT COMING and my story is MY HUSBAND. Some of my friends have decided they need to warn my husband about me (actually, a lot of them say that), but there's no need. Ramona DeFelice Long, in a recent exchange, said she thinks women can write bad things about people they're secure with. The book is just about fun ways to…kill guys. Try the free sample, you'll see.
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