Lea Wait, here, announcing that Friday, September 9, is publication day for my SHADOWS ON A MORNING IN MAINE.
You might think that by this time (my seventeenth book) that would be no big deal.
But if you had seventeen kids, wouldn’t you worry about number seventeen as much as you worried about number one? (Well, maybe not QUITE as much!)
Almost exactly a year ago I sent Shadows on a Morning in Maine to my editor. Edits and copy edits followed, through several months, while I was busy writing another book. This book is the eighth in the Shadows Antique Print mystery series, and may be the last. (I reserve the right to bring the characters back, though!) I was careful to tie up loose ends left from other books in the series, although I did open a couple of doors in characters’ lives that hadn’t been opened before.
Maggie, my protagonist, has come a long way from being a thirty-eight year-old new widow with a day job (teaching at a community college) and an antique print business. In series terms, that was two years ago. In the book publishing world, it was 14 years ago. (Shadows at the Fair, the first in the series — an Agatha finalist! – was published in 2002.) From my perspective as the author, Maggie and her world came to life in 1996 — twenty years ago. She and I have both changed a lot since then, and so have our lives.
But that’s another blog. The past year’s focus has been on this latest book.
My editor and publisher had edits and suggestions, and they were appreciated and incorporated within the manuscript. Shadows on a Morning in Maine had to stand by itself. Once edited, it couldn’t be changed.
Sometime last spring I saw the cover art for the first time. (Yes – it’s a Maine lighthouse; the one in Camden Harbor.) I hesitated a moment — there were no lighthouses in my book — but I loved that the cover captured the feel of summer, and the beauty of the Maine waters – which are important in Shadows on a Morning in Maine.
I ordered postcards (if you’re on my snail mail list you’ll be getting one within the next week) and edited my mailing list (email and snail mail). I printed out labels, and ordered 4,000 postcard stamps. (And if you’d like to be on one or both of my mailing lists, send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. My next mailing will be in late October, in honor of my next Mainely Needlepoint book – DANGLING BY A THREAD.)
During this summer’s hot evenings I listened to political conventions and labelled and stamped. One of my daughters and two of my granddaughters helped during the week they were vacationing in Maine. Postcards are ready to go.
I volunteered to guest blog in September, hoping to let more people know about the new book, and then wrote the blogs. I started getting calls about signings and talks for the fall, and scheduled as many as I could.
I wrote three prequels to Shadows on a Morning in Maine — each one a different moment from a different point of view, but all three providing hints about what would happen in the book. (One prequel is linked to my website — http://www.leawait.com— and one was posted here at Maine Crime Writers about two weeks ago. A third will appear on Dru’s Book Musings, another wonderful blog, on Friday – publication date.)
So. I’ve done what I can. On Friday Shadows on a Morning in Maine will make its debut in the world. I wish it well. I hope you’ll read it. If you enjoy it, I hope you’ll tell your friends, and post a review. Perhaps suggest your book club read it. (I Skype with book groups!)
But those things are up to you. I’ve done what I can for Maggie and Will and their friends.
Now … I have to get back to writing the book that will be published in November of 2017.
Shadows on a Morning in Maine is on its own.
I wish it well.