update

Happy New Year

2021 was not my favorite year. I didn’t read a lot, I was very ill for a long time, and it took me ages to get back to writing. This was reflected by the sparse updates and posts on the blog. I wish I could promise increased activity, but that will remain firmly in the maybe category.

And yet…this year saw some incredibly good reads. Death in the House of Rain, The Judas Window, Death Turns the Tables, and Cat and Mouse were awesome. I didn’t write about most of the books I read. The best of these was probably The Ponson Case. Like most of you, I have a tbr pile bigger than my brain can comprehend.

And, by the skin of my teeth, I published a book this year, making this the fourth year in a row. If you knew anything about my procrastination and lack of focus, you’d be more impressed, trust me.

Thus far, sales for The 5 False Suicides are right on par with the last book. As I’ve mentioned before, T5FS isn’t exactly detective fiction but it has elements of it. Clues, red herrings, and some investigatory scenes. It’ll be interesting to see how it continues to sell. For those of you who have bought the book or even just shared the news of its release–thank you. I’m quite happy with it. It’s the sort of book I would have liked to have read as a young man.

This brings me to the last item on my agenda. I have begun writing the fifth book. It’s still the early stages (of course), but I’m excited because it usually takes me such a long time to get back into the swing of things. As of now, there will be 14 short stories, all taking place in Chicago. Together, they will tell a singular story comprising Rowan Manory’s 1921 case file. Not all the stories will feature impossible crimes, but some/most of them will. All of them will be detective fiction. I won’t be announcing release dates until the book is finished, so don’t get too excited yet. But, I think I might release one of the stories on my blog a few weeks before the actual publication. Please let me know if that’s something you’d dig. Personally, I hate reading on a computer screen.

The title of the collection is still TBD, but I’m pretty sure it will be one of the stories from the book. (Quick tip: if you can’t think of a title for your book of short stories, pick the story you think is the weakest and make that the title of the entire book. It will automatically improve that story [and by extension, the rest of the book] because readers will find unearned depths within its pages. He titled it this, so it must be important. See The Dubliners, Civilwarland in Bad Decline, etc.)

Here’s hoping you and I accomplish most of our goals in 2022. Take good care of yourselves and others. And don’t suddenly start reading a different genre. If some of you suddenly started reading YA Shapeshifter Reverse Bully Harem Cyberpunk Dystopian Horror, it would seriously bother me. All right, talk to you later.

James

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