Today doesn't just mark the release of my 11th novel. It's also ushering in the fourth book series I've been a part of.
First came Holmes on the Range and its sequels. Then I hopped aboard the runaway Pride and Prejudice and Zombies freight train. Then Science Bob Pflugfelder and I launched the Nick and Tesla middle-grade books. And now, with The White Magic Five & Dime, my pal Lisa Falco and I are beginning a new series of tarot mysteries.
But wait, as the fine folks at Ginsu used to say, there's much, much more! Back in the day, when I had time to write short stories, I started several other series. There were the Larry Erie and Burt & Raymond stories for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (collected in the book Blarney); the interwoven Christmas stories for Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (collected in the book Naughty); and an unfinished trilogy about the young Sherlock Holmes that started with stories in two competing anthologies (collected nowhere...yet).
"An unfinished trilogy." Can there be sadder words to a writer?
Well, yes, I suppose. The phrase "does not meet our editorial needs at this time" comes to mind, especially if it's in a form letter. But "unfinished" -- how I hate that word! And I know some of you do, too.
I get asked pretty regularly when Holmes on the Range's Big Red and Old Red will return. My stock answer: one day. Because I know in my heart that series isn't finished. There are more stories to tell.
That's not always the case. The Pride and Prejudice and Zombies saga? Finished. Larry Erie and Burt & Raymond. Finished. The Christmas stories? Finished. (Unless I get a really, really great idea for one, but I'm not putting any effort into it.) You can file them all under "been there, wrote that, cashed the check."
Will Nick and Tesla and the tarot mysteries go into that file one day, too? Could be. Readers and publishers and my own whims and interests will determine that. But if those series do end, I know what's going to replace them. Old series, like Holmes on the Range and the young Sherlock Holmes stories. And new series I haven't even had a chance to start writing yet. I've only got a million and one ideas I want to try.
Just wait! There's much, much more!