Sunday, May 20, 2012

Well, I don't know how many people have waited this long (since last October!) for a new post, but in case anybody is still out there, here it is. Some exciting things have happened, and I won't be able to get to all of them on this post. I did want to announced that my wife/co-author and I have gotten a new agent, and we hope she will be more enthusiastic about our work than the previous one was. We're working on two proposals for her: one, for adults, would be a history of French cuisine from about 1300 when the first cook who was distinctively French wrote a book with recipes and advice. We're going to bring the story up to the present day, when French cooking influences fine restaurants and chefs in virtually every country in the world. A lot of the chefs along the way had very interesting lives.
The second project we're going to pitch is a YA book about Mary Shelley. Those of you who are familiar with our work know that we did an adult book about Mary and the people who inspired her to write Frankenstein. This new book will concentrate on Mary's teenage years, her relationship with Shelley (he was a married man with one child when they ran off to France), and the births (and tragic deaths) of her first three children. Pretty much soap-opera stuff, and we hope a publisher will be courageous enough to publish it. The original book didn't sell as well as we would have liked, so we'll see if this one can do better. It's a great story.
For those of you who are fans of our Samurai Detective series, there's some good news: we forced the publisher to give up control of the e-book rights, and are working on good covers for the six books. When that's done, we'll put them online--at a reasonable price. This would be the first time that the first book in the series, The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn, will be available as an e-book. The publisher started making them available in e-book formats starting with the last book and working backwards. Make sense to you? Of course not. That's why you're not a publisher.
And finally, I put a couple more of my books online. The first was Guns: a Novel, which concerns a topic that no paper-and-ink publisher would dare to touch: school shootings. Our hero arrives at a new school and is assigned the locker that used to belong to the boy who shot up the library, killing six people, two years before. He finds this a little creepy, and then people start warning him not to ask too many questions about what happened. You know that's not going to stop him, right? This book isn't for younger readers--but give it a try if you're in high school. Just don't use it for inspiration, OK?
The other book I recently put online was a science-fiction novel, The Hunters. My friend Burt Wetanson and I wrote this back in the day, when we were working on a trade magazine. One of our drudge tasks was to go through newspapers from all over the country, looking for discount store ads (don't ask why). To make the task a little more enjoyable, we used to hunt for weird news stories, and one day we came across one about a mysterious couple who came to this town in a rural area and started to preach that they could bring everybody who followed them to Paradise. I don't know what happened to those townsfolk, but Burt and I asked each other, "What if...this couple really were from another planet and wanted to lure the townsfolk to a hunting trip. And they wouldn't be the hunters, but the hunted?" Simple premise, but our original book sold pretty well, was optioned seven times for the movies, was finally purchased by a guy who wanted to make a movie out of it--and we're still waiting. It's a good story for all ages. Give it a try at, which will download it onto any kind of e-reader you may have. Let me know if you like it!

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