Or maybe I should say, "Celebrate, a select few! The day 60% of you have been waiting for has finally arrived!" Because according to my exhaustive research -- O.K., it was one lousy poll a long time ago -- that's how many of you have been coming to this website looking for a specific bit of news.
"What specific bit of news is that?" I hear you ask. (I have really good hearing.) It's this: The "Holmes on the Range" series is back!
Well, will be back. Soon. Ish. Provided you're willing to define "in about a year" as "Soon. Ish." Here's the deal.
Once upon a time, Minotaur Books pulled the plug on the series. They could do that because they were the publisher and publishers get to do stuff like that no matter how much it bums the rest of us out. But there was a way to bring back our mystery-solving cowboy heroes, Big Red and Old Red. It just required lots of patience.
Once the original books had been out long enough, I could start asking Minotaur to give me back the rights. So I did. And they said no. So I asked again. And they said no. So I asked again. And they said yes...to one book. So I asked again. And they said yes...to three more books. And I stopped asking.
All four sequels to Holmes on the Range -- On the Wrong Track, The Black Dove, The Crack in the Lens and World's Greatest Sleuth! -- belong to me now. My plan: reissue them, then write a fifth sequel. Then a sixth. Then a seventh. Then a ninth. (The eighth sequel is always a letdown, don't you think? I figure I'll skip it.)
Long story short (or is it too late for that?): The new-and-improved edition of World's Greatest Sleuth! went on sale a few days ago, and the rest of the original books will start popping up in redesigned packaging between now and the end of the year. Once that's done, it's on to Holmes on the Range #6, which will come out (and this is one of the great things about self-publishing) whenever the heck I finish it.
Tease #1: Subscribers to my e-newsletter got this news over the weekend, and they already know what the sixth novel is going to be called.
Tease #2 (or maybe it's more of a Taunt): I gave away a bunch of free books to e-newsletter subscribers, too. So, you know...hint hint.
Something I didn't tell the e-newsletter crowd (because I can only make those e-newsletters so long before none of the crowd will read them): The fantabulous new cover for World's Greatest Sleuth! was supplied by the equally fantabulous folks at Alchemy Book Covers and Design, and I'll be sharing more of their fantabulous work in the fantabulous (hopefully) weeks ahead.
So stay tuned, 60% of you! As for the other 40% -- well, I'd love it if you stuck around, too. This self-publishing thing is gonna be tricky, and if it's gonna work I'll need as close to 100% of you as I can get....