New Book Deal Announced: MURDER CASTLE Heading Your Way!

If you were following me on Facebook or Twitter over the weekend, you already know the big news: while I was offline in Utah, the news broke about a new book deal for yours truly. This would be one of those things I’ve wanted to tell you about for the last while that I couldn’t. I first got news of the offer right before I went out Trick or Treating with my kids on Halloween. That’s a long time to sit on something before I get to share it with others.

So what does this deal actually mean? For one thing, there’s the obvious: MURDER CASTLE will be out in bookstores, ready for you to read in summer 2021. I began writing the first draft of the book in October 2016, so that’s five years from the first words to being in print. What’s it about? Etta’s sister runs away to Chicago in the 1890s, intent on seeing the Chicago world’s fair, even though it’s half a continent away. Everything seems wonderful at first. She sends Etta a series of letters describing the fair, her new job as a maid, and even a man she’s met. And then the letters stop. Convinced something has happened to her, Etta runs away herself, intent on going to Chicago and discovering the truth. But the truth turns out to be much more sinister than she ever imagined . . .

It’s based on the real life story of HH Holmes, America’s first serial killer, though I take considerable license with the plot. It was a very different book for me to write, and I had a lot of fun in the process. It’s got some pretty gruesome scenes in it, but nothing too awful. (That I can remember . . . it’s been a while since I read it . . .) Definitely YA and not Middle Grade, however.

You’ll notice the deal is for two books. That means MURDER CASTLE will be the first, and then I’m on contract for a second, as yet to be determined novel. My hope is that will be one I’ve already written, as I’ve got several primed and ready to go, but I’ll have to submit those to my editor and see what she thinks of them before I know what will happen there.

I haven’t seen my first edits on the book yet, and I’ve never worked with this new editor before, so I have no idea how much revising I’m going to have in front of me. Could be a lot, could be a little. That will derail current writing projects, but that’s a problem I’m more than ready and eager to deal with. 🙂

Of course, I’ve learned over the years never to take anything for granted. You celebrate the victories as they come along and roll with the punches when they pop up. For now, it’s a happy day in Bryceville. I can’t wait to share the book with you.

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