Looking Back, Looking Forward

It’s pretty typical of 2023 that I should be writing my usual year-end review several days later than planned. It was a year of great highs and horrible lows: I went in with friends on a shared property that will give me a house of my own plus a separate studio/office — and then saw those same friends lose their older daughter in a car accident. Other close friends battled serious and unexpected health problems, and I had some, um, interesting issues of my own. (All fine now.) I got back to some conventions — and, oh, how I had missed cons! — but other old favorites have disappeared and like most artists I could track the drop in sales that followed the implosion of Twitter.

On the writing side, I had two new novels come out this year. The Master of Samar was my pandemic book, begun originally to keep myself sane during the lockdown, but quickly morphing into a bigger and better story than I’d imagined. It’s the only novel I’ve ever begun without knowing the ending, and that was a unique experience. I’m not sure I’d want to do that again, but it was an exhilarating ride. Fallen was a much harder book: I’d started it just before the pandemic hit, and had real trouble getting back into that mindset during and after. I’m pleased with the final result, but it took extra effort to get there, and the expert editorial input of Athena Andreadis was much appreciated!

2023 also saw the re-release of Amy Griswold’s and my two Mathey & Lynes novels, Death By Silver and A Death at the Dionysus Club. Queen of Swords Press did a lovely job with the new editions, and we hope to do another book in the series this year. At the end of 2023, I also moved the Points novels to Queen of Swords, and look forward to seeing new editions over the course of next year. I am also under contract for a new novella, Point of Hearts. It’s due to the publisher in July, so it should be out in December. I’ve begun work (including casting the horoscope) and am cautiously pleased so far. Crossroad Press will also be releasing new editions of both Trouble and Her Friends and Shadow Man next year.

I’m hoping to make it to more conventions this year. Unfortunately, an old favorite, Shore Leave, has moved to Pennsylvania — no fault of their own; the hotel that had hosted it and many other conventions for decades, the Hunt Valley Inn, no longer exists. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it, given the logistics of getting there, but I’m going to try. Before that, however, I’m booked for a GoH appearance in early March — more on that as we get closer to the time. I was invited back in 2020, and I’m delighted to finally make it there!

2024 seems likely to be another roller-coaster year. I have, as always, started the year off with the foods that are supposed to bring luck and money — black-eyed peas, collard greens, ham, all easily accessible here in the sourth — and hopefully they will work their magic. I wish all of you a safe, happy, and healthy year to come!