I'm not a writer because writing's easy for me. I'm in it for the hot chicks and big checks! (Memo to self: So, wait...why are you still doing this?)
Writing is actually so un-easy for me the old Thomas Mann quote hits pretty close to home: "A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. Even something as seemingly simple as a frickin' blog post is a real pain in the arse to do. I mean, it's like, 'Here I am staring at the damn screen not knowing what to say again. ARGH!!! Why didn't I take up knitting?'"
(I added all the stuff after "more difficult than it is for other people," BTW. But I have the feeling ol' Tom would've shared my pain if he'd had to do self promotion via social media.)
This year, I've tried to simplify things for myself by sticking to one goal: I'm finally going to write a sixth "Holmes on the Range" novel. (Well, I suppose I really have two goals: I'm finally going to write a sixth "Holmes on the Range" novel and I need to remind people about it every now and then so someone will actually read the thing when it's ready. Hence this frickin' blog post. ARGH!!!) I'd hoped to write a new "Holmes on the Range" short story for Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine as a sort of warm-up for the novel, but I didn't get to it before the end of 2016, so now it's tabled.
But here's the miraculous thing: Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer are already back in the pages of EQMM, and I didn't have to lift a finger to get them there. All the finger-lifting (and fingers-hitting-keyboard) came courtesy of Jonathan Turner, who included the Amlingmeyers in his spot-on Sherlockian pastiche "The Adventure of the Disguised Passenger." Jonathan knows and understands my heroes so well I even wrote a tribute of sorts to him a few years ago, and it was amazing (and a little frightening) to see how well he'd captured Big Red's voice in a section of his story. (Why frightening? I'm replaceable!)
Check out the January/February issue of EQMM for "The Adventure of the Disguised Passenger" -- and a bit of a sneak preview of my upcoming "Holmes on the Range" novel. (Jonathan's story takes place a year after the last HOTR book, World's Greatest Sleuth!, so it offers readers a peek at the Amlingmeyers' future.)
Now -- back to the hot chicks and big checks!