The Five False Suicides, update


  1. In 3 days, I should have a final cover — the map will be done — labelled and fully drawn. In the meantime, this is the progress. I love everything about it. I love how uncommercial it is. I love the throwback quality of it. I love the spine.
  2. In 2-3 weeks, I will hold (and post pictures of) my author’s copy.
  3. After that, it depends on the editing. Maybe two weeks. I can’t commit.
  4. When the book is released, I plan to increase my reading. I’d like to review some modern murder mysteries, including some indies or near-indies.
  5. I have to remain mum on my plans for next year’s writing project. I’ll just say, at the moment, they are ambitious.
  6. One of the most important things will be sticking to a schedule and being consistant. One of the reasons I have overshot all my predicted dates is because I take long breaks. When I start again it takes a while to remember how to write. A lot of time gets wasted. A writer writes.

I hope you’re doing well and thank you for putting up with my delays. It really has been a rough year (ironically, 2020 was a breeze for me) and it slowed me down with lulls in productivity that were sometimes painful. 2021 did not, however, stop me. One of the things that kept me going was knowing that somewhere there are people excited to get their hands on my next book. People who love bombshell revelations at the end of middle chapters and evidence that doesn’t look like evidence and murders so strange they seem impossible. Talk to you soon. James

5 thoughts on “Update”

  1. James – Indeed if that keeps you going, good to know… I am indeed one of those looking forward to your new book. I have always had a weakness for old Dell mapback editions so love the back cover.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s no other media I’m looking forward to more than Suicides at the moment so take as much time as you need, just be quick about it!

    -I love the Dell mapbacks I have, but I believe this will be the first book I’ll read written expressly with the mapback in mind.

    -I feel like I should be re-reading Four False Weapons and Constant Suicides.

    -Will this be up for pre-order, by the way?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The process of the mapback has been interesting. We looked at about 20 of them and had long discussions about what makes them so good. We both love the clarity, which informs the reader quickly about the setting, and the shadow work, which gives instant and effortless depth and perspective. They’re amazing.

      Of course, my designer has different technology at his disposal, and (this is the key) he can’t draw. The interior of the cabin was done with a cheap furniture app and the image is Matt’s best approximation of the colors and styles we looked at. I’ve told him now that he should stop thinking about the classic mapbacks because there’s no way in hell he can reproduce them. He’s said as much. After looking at them for so long and studying them, he’s in awe of the skill level. And yet, Matt is one of those artists who cannot create a boring image. That’s why I love working with him–he always surprises me.

      I’m not sure about pre-ordering. I’ll see how much time I have between completion and publication. Watch this space.


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