Showing posts with label Toronto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toronto. Show all posts

Jun 29, 2015

Choosing New Covers

I asked the original publisher of the Dead Detective Mysteries to give me back the rights to the books. They were very nice about it, and I began the process of re-publishing them. Since audiences are often interested in how book covers come about, I thought I'd share my experiences with this series.

When publishers accept a manuscript, they often ask the writer for her ideas on what the cover should look like. There is NO guarantee they'll listen, and other writers I've spoken with had covers they hated or felt didn't represent their books at all, but they were stuck with them.

When asked about a cover for Book #1, I said I pictured a girl on a ship with a mysterious man in the background. My publisher's cover artist chose this as the cover for The Dead Detective Agency. Some people liked it; some didn't. A couple said the girl looked like my daughter; others said she looked like a robot. My first reaction was disappointment, but I recognize that I am NO judge of art, so I left it to them to say what would sell.

This time around, it's up to me what the cover will look like, although I worked with a cover artist because, as I said, art isn't my forte. I still liked the ship/mysterious man combination, so this is what the artist came up with.
The second book had a great cover when it came from the publisher, with the Mackinac Bridge as the background, but I can't use someone else's art when I re-release the book. I asked the new cover artist to do much the same thing but with a little less of a dark feeling, since the books are rather light-hearted in their look at the Afterlife. They definitely aren't scary, spooky, or gory. Here's what we had and what I chose for the new version:

Book Three is my choice of cover, since the old publisher never got around to releasing it. The artist found a detective to represent Seamus and we have several poses, so it will be the same guy in Books 2, 3, and 4. Three looks like this:

I like that there's a theme connecting the books now: similar lettering, the same Seamus, and the character(s) in front of the most important setting, the ship for #1, the Mighty Mac for #2, and Toronto for #3. Note of interest: Title fonts have gotten bigger in the last few years because so many people buy their books online. It's a huge no-no to have the title too small or fussy to read when it's reduced to a tiny little rectangle online (as the original for Book #1 is).

Four isn't coming until next year, but it will feature another pose of the same Seamus with an "old Chicago" cover, since he's going back to solve his own murder. Shout out to Phillips Covers for the new art, and for taking the burden off me. Once again, NOT a cover expert!


Apr 20, 2015

New Dead Detective Mystery

DEAD FOR THE SHOW is scheduled for release today. It's ready on Kindle for sure. (If you don't have a Kindle, there's an app you can download to get your other e-readers to read Kindle books. I know nothing about this, being a Kindle owner, but I'm told it's great.)

The book is also available in paperback from Ingram, which means you can order it at a bookstore and they'll have it in a day or two.

I don't see the print version on Amazon yet, but it's in the works. There's no way to predict how long it takes after we approve the proof copies.

So what is this one about?
DEAD FOR THE SHOW is Book #3 of the Dead Detective Mysteries, featuring Seamus, a throwback to the '50s who operates pretty well in 2015. In this one he's investigating the death of a the woman who refuses to believe she's dead. She was a member of a a theater group in Toronto, and Seamus ends up trying to protect her sister so she doesn't end up dead as well.

The series has a lightly humorous slant on the Afterlife and how life on Earth is viewed there. When a person is murdered, he or she can engage a dead detective to go back to Life and find out the whos and whys of the case. The situations the dead detectives get into are sometimes humorous and often suspenseful, but justice always wins out.

I enjoy writing the Dead Detective series and plan at least one more, hopefully for 2016.
Book #1
Book #2


Book #3
Note: Books 1 & 2 will be getting new covers soon when they go into new editions. They'll feature the "new" Seamus pic (center above), so don't buy them a second time by mistake!

Mar 30, 2015

I Really Mean It This Time: Dead Detective #3

Taking the bull by the horns is dangerous, but I had to. The third of the Dead Detective series languished at my publishers for over a year. It had been edited, but that was as far as it got: no cover, no release date.
So I asked for the rights back. Luckily they were great about it, and now the book can move on with a cover from Phillips Covers and formatting from Greenerside Digital.

I took a guess at a release date and made it April 20. I'm guessing the e-book will come earlier than that, since that's a simpler process. The print copies might come later, since there's the whole "mail-me-a-copy-of-what-it's-going-to-look-like" thing. If there's something wrong, that would delay the release.

Anyway, it's up for pre-order on Kindle right now, and I'll be sure to let everyone know when everything is in place.

Here's the teaser:

Dead Detective Seamus Hanrahan is bored on the ship that takes the dead from one phase to the next. It's a perfect existence, but since when is perfect exciting? When new arrival Cassie Parker refuses to believe she's dead, Seamus agrees to return to life on Earth and find out what happened to her. The hope is that something Seamus discovers will convince the young woman her life really is over, though Cassie insists she isn't dead and she'll never believe she is.
  In a small theater in Toronto, Seamus finds Christy Parker, who came to visit only to learn that her sister was killed backstage in what appears to be an accident. When she's convinced to take over Cassie's job as wardrobe mistress, Christy's life changes so fast she can hardly keep up. The loss of her only remaining relative, the demands of the new job, her interesting and eccentric coworkers, and a chance meeting with an old friend keep her mind more than occupied.
  Seamus travels through the theater troupe, trying to learn who might have hated Cassie enough to murder her. There are lots of secrets, but he finds neither guilt nor any definite sense of what happened the day Cassie died. Christy struggles on, disappointed that the police have closed the case on Cassie's death.
  Christy's friend has his own investigation to conduct, and Seamus begins to suspect the two crimes are connected. Soon Christy's life is in danger, though she doesn't know why, and she engages in a desperate fight to survive in the old, deserted theater.
  To make matters worse, Seamus, who's trying to protect Christy and figure out why Cassie had to die, senses something he's never encountered before, an odd presence that shouldn't be there. Can a dead guy be haunted, and if so, is it a good thing or really, really bad?


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