Don’t Go to Sleep Copyedit: Done!

Not much to say here other than to pop in and let you know I finished the copyedit for my next book: Don’t Go to Sleep. That means that the books is pretty much locked in and good to go for its publication next summer. It’s a book I’m particularly proud of at the moment. I wrote the bulk of it during the pandemic, and getting through that writing and doing it all on time wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve done. (The past while, my writing has pretty much shut down as I try to just barrel through the next few weeks. I’ve never taken a break this long from writing before, so that might give you and idea of just where my headspace is right now.)

The book has come together very nicely. If you didn’t know, it’s based on a series of unsolved axe murders in New Orleans during the 1910s, and it takes place at the height of the Spanish Influenza in the city in 1918. I didn’t pick the time period because of the pandemic, though it was April of 2020 when I settled on it. I only realized the overlap once I was into the writing. But as I wrote it, it was a good way of dealing with the current crisis: looking back at how big of a crisis the country went through a hundred years ago. Very surprising to see how much stayed the same between then and now. Technology may have changed a great deal, but people still are people.

It was also a nice switch to be able to write about something historical, but which has many more holes in the history. When people have criticized The Perfect Place to Die, it’s usually been around the fact that they knew who the murderer was before they picked up the book. (I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I tried to approach that book like James Cameron approached Titanic. We all know the ship goes down at the end. What ends up mattering is how the characters interacted with that tragedy. They didn’t know the ship would sink, just as the people in Chicago back then didn’t know the identity of a mass murderer.) With this next book, no one knows who committed the murders, so there’s more room to explore. (Also, the book isn’t so much about finding out the killer’s identity as it is about stopping them.)

I’ve seen the cover and the back cover description, and I think you’re really going to like them. I can’t wait to share them, but for now, I’m just happy that I’m still on target with the book, despite COVID’s best efforts.


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