Since we have a couple of "writerly" questions, I thought I'd add mine to the mix:

Do you prefer working under a multiple-book or single-book contract?

I have my own preference, but wanted to get feedback from crimespacers first before I show my cards.

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I've had two books deals (both books already written), and I prefer one-book deals for the future. But then I've switched to stand-alones. A series needs too much support these days. And an author has too much invested in it. This is a "hit and run" sort of business.
How's the standalone going, I.J.? I'm working steadily on mine--more of a women's mystery but I think that's fine. Mas has a cameo; I think after this book, I'll be ready to return to the series again.
Oh, Naomi, that sounds very good. Women's literature sells. My problem is that I've been fighting the gender thing all along (male protagonists and initials). I did a historical novel that focused on a woman (12 th. Japan). It did not please the editors who found the history confusing (the Heike wars!). I shall rewrite this and kill off the female protagonist. Who needs her? That'll show them.
The current book is a thriller (it has an assassin) set in 18th century Germany. It's about 1/3 done and will be shorter than most of my books. I have a notion that readers will also be uninterested in German history and this history is, if anything, even more confusing.
My agent says I'm shooting myself in the foot by ignoring women's literature. She's a very wise bird.
You have to write what you feel called to write. It's funny--I was very deliberate in choosing to write about a male protagonist because so many Asian American female writers write about women and how they can't understand their parents and their old country ways. Because I am bilingual and spent some time in Japan, I thought it would be interesting to flip that around and write from the parent's perspective. And since I've interviewed mostly men at the newspaper (and am an old cranky guy in my heart of hearts), it was very easy to capture a man's POV.

I'm mining a different side of me in these women's stories. This current mystery is pretty domestic. Yet working in this confined space is creatively challenging as well. I've always felt female wars are more complicated and nefarious than male wars. Really fun and scary stuff. Reading pulp fiction written by women in the 1950s has helped immensely.
That is fascinating. Yes, indeed. Women can be sneaky devils. They've had to learn how to cope with male domination. I suppose I also chose a male protagonist because most female authors write about women. And I like men. They make good heroes because they are single-minded.
At the moment I am contrasting a brother and sister: the male is the idealist and the sister the realist. I'm having a lot of fun working out their equally biased views of the world while an assassin stalks them.
Thank God we both love what we do.
I have written one book and self published it but now I am seeking a major publisher. I have other book titles in the can and I want to way the pros and cons for doing multiple book deals. There is much legality in these decisions. Good to dialog with those who have already been down that road.


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