The last 2 years have been incredibly busy. In 2017, I went back to working 3/4 time to allow another of my partners to go half time for medical reasons. That meant I was making half again as much money as I had in previous years working half time. Plus, now that I’m over 70, I’m collecting Social Security and mandatory distributions from 2 pension plans. I also had a huge tax deduction for 2016 because of all the repairs on my Hilton Head house, which I then sold, exactly one month before Hurricane Matthew hit and drowned Hilton Head Island.
What to do with all that extra money?
I decided to go all out on marketing for all 5 books. Working with a delightful marketing consultant, Red Hernandez, my books got advertised in Reader’s Digest, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and countless others. I had Hollywood treatments done and screenplays written. I had publicists up the wazoo working on my behalf. I’ve had author videos filmed right here in my home. Finally, all 5 will be made into audiobooks. I spent over $300,000.
Which gave me another huge tax deduction for 2017.
Now, I’ve written a 6th Toni Day mystery, called A Deadly Homecoming.
Here’s what it’s all about.
Pathologist Toni Day returns to her hometown of Long Beach, California. Her mother’s best friend Doris’s husband Dick has disappeared, and Doris has moved in with Toni’s mother and stepfather, convinced that the historic house she shared with Dick is haunted. To make things even more complicated, Doris is also suffering from a mysterious illness.
When Toni and Hal arrive, Doris takes a sudden turn for the worse and ends up in the hospital in a coma. While doctors struggle to diagnose and treat, Toni explores the historic house looking for clues, and finds evidence suggesting that Dick may not be who he seems, as well as a malfunctioning dumbwaiter, a laird’s lug, a secret staircase, and a half-empty bottle of white arsenic. She also finds Dick’s body.
Toni embarks on a whirlwind investigation revealing insurance fraud, identity theft, and serial murder reaching back at least four decades, while struggling to convince doctors that Doris is suffering from chronic arsenic poisoning. The Long Beach police, not accustomed to Toni’s unorthodox methods of crime-solving, are skeptical of her conclusions until Toni herself nearly becomes the final victim.
It’s been through all 3 stages of editing and received Editor’s Choice from iUniverse, the 4th of my 6 books to do so. It has now moved on to Cover Copy Polish, and then Proofreading, and then interior and cover design.
I’ve sold books at Shoshone Art in the Park, and at Twin Falls Art in the Park, and still have Thousand Springs in September and Art of the Gift in December. I’m noticing that people who are new to my books usually want to start at the beginning with Murder Under the Microscope, while those who are familiar with them have already bought all of them, and are impatiently wondering why I don’t have a new one yet. I’ve assured them that it’s coming, it’s coming, but I don’t know when. I’m praying to have it for Thousand Springs, but it’s far from a given.
However, there’s a development.
I received a thumb drive in the mail upon which was the audiobook for The Body on the Lido Deck. I’ve listened to it. It’s good. I approve. Maybe, just maybe, if I don’t have Deadly Homecoming for Thousand Springs, I will have an audiobook to sell.
And that’s where I’ve been all this time.