Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Time is relative

Something I learned as a lawyer was that time was different in the court system than in the outside world. A "speedy trial" in criminal cases happens in months, possibly even years, rather than in the days or maybe weeks that a non-lawyer might expect from the term. Getting onto the fast track for a civil trial meant waiting years for a day in court, instead of decades.

In any event, with experience, lawyers learn that nothing happens quickly, and sort of adjust their understanding of time into slow motion.

It's a lesson that's served me well in a publishing industry that's rife with delays and hurry-up-and-wait. The turn-around from the contract for A DOSE OF DEATH to its release yesterday was a nano-second in publishing terms, thanks to my nimble publisher. Of course, that came after years and years of learning my craft and getting (more than) my fair share of rejections.

Now, I'm learning to deal with a different sort of time issue: time shifts between the parallel universes of books on the shelves and books being written.

The first of the Helen Binney mysteries just came out yesterday, so it's brand new for readers. For me, though, it's an old story, something I first came up with several years ago, and finally got into publishable shape last year.

The good news, for those who've been asking about the next installment in the series, is that the sequel has been in the works for a while already. Book #2, tentatively titled A DENIAL OF DEATH, is being polished up to send to the publisher toward the end of this month. Book #3, tentatively titled, A DEAL OF DEATH, has a (really rough) outline.

I thought the series might end as a nice, tidy trilogy, but just as I was thinking that, I had this idea about a new challenge for Helen to face. I'm not sure where the idea will take me, but a friend gave me the working title: A DEBT OF DEATH.

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