Lea Wait here, thrilled to announce the publication of the 7th in my Shadows Antique Print Mystery series. Shadows on a Maine Christmas is available now, in trade paperback or e-book in bookstores (ask your favorite bookstore to order it if it’s not in stock) and from on-line sellers.
Publisher’s Weekly said it contained, “loving descriptions of the Maine winter and the area’s strong sense of community.” Mysterious Women: “Surprise ending .. beautifully written.” Kingdom Books: “one of the best and most intriguing plot twists … quick-paced and charming.”
So – I’m pleased. And relieved. Another child has been sent out into the world and, it seems, has had a good start.
So for today’s post, I thought I’d answer some of the questions I often get about my books.
How long does it take a book to be published? It varies. I signed a contract on the basis of a synopsis two years ago and handed in the manuscript of Shadows on a Maine Christmas one year ago.
Are you Maggie Summer? No! Yes, Maggie and I are both antique print dealers. We’ve both lived in New Jersey, and we both have graduate degrees in American Studies. But Maggie’s younger that I am (she’s now 39) and has darker hair and is much braver than I am. She gets involved in situations I’d shy away from. And, no, I don’t drink Diet Pepsi. (I drink tea.) Although Maggie and I both enjoy champagne and a good dry sherry.
Why set a mystery at Christmas? Because I love Christmas! The books in the Shadows series take place 3-5 months part, so, although it’s only been two months since Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding, that book ended on a difficult note for Maggie’s relationship with her beau, Will Brewer. They needed to resolve some long-standing issues between them. Christmas seemed the right time for them to do that. (Although a little blackmail and murder do delay that a bit.)
Although the Shadows series is set today, you often include historical tidbits. Did you do that in Shadows on a Maine Christmas? I did. The mystery this time revolves around Will’s 91-year-old Aunt Nettie and several of her friends. They’ve kept each other’s secrets for years .. some since the second world war … so finding out what those secrets are, and why they’re important today, means going back in time a few decades. I love doing that!
What gave you the basic idea for Shadows on a Maine Christmas? Alzheimers. It’s a horribly devastating disease, and one of its characteristic is that those who have it lose their short-term memory, but can remember events in the past. I wondered what would happen if someone started talking about those long-held secrets.
And will there by another Shadows book? Right now, it looks that way! I’m working on a synopsis, and am hoping to have a contract soon. If there is, it won’t be out until 2016. But in the meantime I’ll be working on books in my new series (Mainely Needlepoint) that begins in January, 2015, with Twisted Threads. That series will have a new book published every six months.
And thank you, to Maggie’s readers. If it weren’t for you …. I wouldn’t be plotting the 8th of her adventures!