posted by Leann Sweeney

This week, the cat feels better, the dog and I are calmer and I am about a month away from becoming a first time grandma. It doesn't get any better than that in my personal life. Even my son-in-law, who is the worst airplane phobic ever, will be taking a train to be in Seattle at Thanksgiving and meet the newest member of our family. I'm smiling, folks. But there's more good stuff--at least I hope all of you reading this, some who have hopefully read my books, will agree this is good.

First, my new cover art is done for the book that comes out January 2 and I am showing it Bluebonnet_cover here for the first time. I am very happy with this cover, perhaps because I had a say and some of what I asked for is there. The bluebonnets could have been bigger, but that might have clashed with the yellow roses. Hope everyone likes it! Let me know what you think good or bad. The first chapter of Pushing Up Bluebonnets will be on my website soon.

The second part is a bit harder to call completely good news, because I know some readers will be upset. That fear has worried me tremendously, and I can only hope you will stick with me. My next book after Pushing Up Bluebonnets will not be a Yellow Rose Mystery. I have been fortunate enough that my editor believes I can bring something new to all of you, something very fun and for a paperback mystery writer like me, a chance to take on a new challenge.

In January 2009 I will be debuting a new series. This doesn't necessarily mean that Abby Rose is gone forever. I believe she has more to say, more cases to solve, and so does my editor. But unlike many writers who seem to be able to produce two or even three series and thus have multiple releases in a year, I, unfortunately, am not that girl. I have health issues that just won't allow me to do that right now. I wish I could tell you everything about the newest venture, but I can't. What I can say is that in the back of Pushing Up Bluebonnets you'll find the first chapter of the first book in the new series. You can even stand in Barnes and Noble and read it if you want. No need to even buy a book. Plus, once Bluebonnets is released--which isn't that far off-- I can tell more.

So why am I talking about this now? Because I am so afraid of leaving Abby and friends behind, afraid of making the readers who have been so supportive and kind to me upset, and also afraid I might fail in this new venture. Those are big things and my stomach has butterflies right now just thinking about it. The only control I have is to write the best story I can, one that will allow readers to escape into the new world I will be creating. This I can say: the books will be more cozy than what I am writing now and feature an amateur sleuth, plus the setting won't be Texas--though I will still be writing about the south. Hey, write what you know is one of those BIG writing rules.

Abby Rose has been my best friend through some very difficult and lonely times in the past several years. She has brought me in touch with the most wonderful readers on the planet, folks who know that a mystery with a pastel cover doesn't make it any less of a mystery, any less intelligent than the dark and brooding tales told different kinds of authors. As a writer I have followed my heart and I have also tried to put my heart in every book I've written.

I guess all I want to say is, stick with me, people! I promise I won't disappoint you.

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