One might imagine, from six weeks of radio silence, that I have been busy.

One would be correct.

But there have been some Very Exciting Developments in that time!

First off, I’ve gotten a studio to work in! It’s part of an artist’s collective, extremely convenient to my son’s school, and, as my husband said, “Bohemian enough to suit your sensibilities.” (I pointed out that I’m really not very bohemian, and he said, “No, but you want to be,” which is perfectly true. :)

The collective has a Studio Cat. Her name is Ophelia (or Elektra, or Lady Tara, depending on who you ask), and she is extremely pretty. She also decided I’d brought my cute Itty Bitty Wonder Woman and Supergirl in for her, a topic upon which she was mistaken, and now I have to put them in a Safety Cup when I leave in the evening (well, afternoon) so she doesn’t make off with them. :)

A friend, looking at the studio pictures, said, “I get the impression you’re expecting it to be cold a lot,” and the truth is I probably don’t have enough blankets, fingerless gloves, and shawls on hand yet. I’ve lived in 8 houses in Ireland, and none of them have kept heat worth a damn, but they were all at least nominally sealed. The studio is in a 150 year old textile factory with 22 foot ceilings and “windows” at either end that are merely wooden shutters with no glass behind them. So, yes, in fact, I expect it to be cold a lot. I have ambitions to get a rug for my space, and I need slippers, and probably other things to stay warm. On the positive side, I’m right below a heater (which is a giant space heater style thing), and have no compunctions against using it. :)

The next Very Exciting Development is that when I got the studio, one of my friends began a “Business Shower” fund as a surprise so I could get things for the new space, and it just happened that I found a spare keyboard like my own on eBay just as they were planning to send it.

Now, my keyboard (as evidenced in the pictures) is a fully split, chair-mounted keyboard, and I’ve had it for something like 17 years. Last summer I had a bad run where it had been messed up and I thought it was a goner, although it turned out the keys had just gotten remapped and someone who is a keyboard enthusiast happened to hear about it and could tell me how to fix it. But that was a very bad moment, because although there’s no reason to believe my keyboard will go kaput, I live in terror of the day that happens. I’ve looked for replacements idly on and off for at least a decade, possibly longer, Just In Case, but I’d literally never seen one on eBay before, and it showed up there just as my astonishingly good-hearted friends put exactly enough money in the paypal account for me to get it.

Readers, I bought it.

Honestly, I actually feel a little guilty about buying it, because, I mean, someone else might need and not HAVE one at all. I feel like I should lend it to somebody, or something, until the day comes that I do need it. Except that could lead to it ending up non-functional, too, of course, which would defeat the purpose of buying it in the first place…

ANYWAY VERY EXCITED TO HAVE A BACKUP KEYBOARD and also there may have been some crying when i found out about the gift fund because just omg. what wonderful people i know.

And the final Very Exciting Development is (not to bury the lede) I’ve just turned in my first COZY MYSTERY, which will be out in January 2020 and I am so looking forward to sharing with you all! Eeeeeee!

Tell me about YOUR summertime adventures?

At long, LONG last, REDEEMER has been released into the wild!

I’ll start out with the links, just in case that’s all you’re here for. REDEEMER is currently available in e-book, and will be available in print within the next few days!

KOBO || iTUNES || AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE

July, 1945.
Soldiers are coming home from the war…and monsters come with them.

THE REDEEMER
Rosie wants to keep her job as a riveter, even with her boyfriend returning from World War II. But there’s defying convention, and then there’s executing a demon on the factory floor. Rosie is ready to roll with the demon-slaying power awakened inside her—if she can figure out how to make it work on command.

THE HUNTER
Crippled by monsters in wartime Europe, Hank is home and searching for evidence of a demonic insurgence in Detroit—or better yet, a Redeemer, one of the rare women capable of freeing demons from their torment. Rosie could be his ticket to proving himself…if she would just play along.

THE CATCH
Rosie can’t fight. Hank won’t talk. But the demons are coming for them, so they’d better learn to work together—and avoid getting arrested as the bodies pile up. Unfortunately, Rosie’s already on the police radar, and Hank has a few hometown secrets that could end up killing their investigation before it begins.

Not to mention killing Hank and Rosie, too….

This book been a very long time coming, and has leaned heavily on the patience of my Kickstarter supporters, to whom I owe a profound emotional debt of thanks. I am so pleased to be launching this book today, and I hope you all enjoy reading it! &heart; &heart; &heart;

REDEEMER, available now!
KOBO || iTUNES || AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE

Ten Second Trailer Reviews:

Aquaman: I mean the stuff with Little Arthur looks kind of amazing but Mera’s wig is SO VERY BAD and I don’t like the underwater people effects (the city is beautiful), so eh, IDK, withholding judgment.

Shazam I would have cast neither that kid nor that man as Billy, but aside from that: naaaaaaaht baaad. Naaaaaaaaht baaaaaaaad at aaallll. Tho I tell you, the bit on the subway where he first hears the wizard’s voice? I went hard to

and stayed there, because wow. It does look fun, though.

Young Justice: Outsiders: I can’t believe they’ve brought it back for a third season and I’m gonna hafta rewatch the first two seasons and *squee*!

Clone Wars: I don’t even care about Star Wars and I had a moment of “geez, maybe i should watch this whole show just to watch this” with the trailer. And I’m delighted for everybody who DOES care and is super excited.

Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors: OMG OMG OMG OMG LOOKIT CHUNKY SQUIRREL GIRL LOOKIT DORKY KAMALA LOOKIT THEM ALL BEING SO PERFECT GIMME GIMME GIMME NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW

There’s this debate/ongoing question that keeps cropping up over on Twitter, about when one should buy and read a new book. There are lots of readers who don’t want to read a series until it’s done (fear of it never being finished is a big reason why, there), and often people say they’ll wait for a whole series to come out before buying and reading them.

The problem with that approach is publishing is a business, and if a reader waits to buy the first (second, third, etc) book in a series until the series is all published, there’s an increasingly good chance that the series will never *be* finished. Not because the author dies (which is really the perennial fear), but because the publisher will cut their losses and stop publishing that series because nobody is buying it.

My solution–and this is genuinely *my* solution, it’s what I actually do–is to buy the books as they come out and not read them until the series is done. They just get added to the To Be Read pile, but come on, who are we kidding: the TBR pile is already outrageous and adding a few more books to it doesn’t hurt anything.

I don’t wait to read series until they’re done because I’m afraid the author will die, mind you. I do it because I personally find it exceptionally hard to read new books in my genre (fantasy, generally speaking) while I’m writing, and it often takes me so very long to work my way through a series (or it takes the author so very long) that I really barely remember what happened in the last book when a new one comes out, and I don’t usually have the time/focus to re-read. So I circumvent that by buying the books as they come out and reading them all in a go when the series is done.

This is why I’m almost always reading books that were published 5 or 7 years ago instead of something that just came out. There are exceptions. I *mostly* keep up on Michelle Sagara’s Cast books, and I’ve been known to immediately read whatever Ursula Vernon has written most recently, because I know Ursula’s books will fall directly into the “comfort reads” space in my brain, but mostly I read stuff YEARS after publication.

Furthermore, there are writers whose work just makes me fall into a pit of despair, and I generally buy their books and then try to avoid reading them until I realize I’m in a solid Not Writing Phase (which, frustratingly, I am right now because of post-moving…life stuff, basically). This is why I haven’t read Guy Gavriel Kay’s RIVER OF STARS, and also why I realized this morning that I’d better hurry up and read it before I absolutely have to get on the ball writing again, so I can both wallow in it and get past the three or four days of moaning about my comparative utter incompetence as a writer before I start new words of my own. :)

I have to go play a game of chess with an 8 year old now, so I guess that’s all I’ve got to say. :)

I got some of the best news of my writing career last week and I’m still OVER THE MOON about it.

Lo These Many Years Ago, I wrote a trilogy for Harlequin’s quick-to-fail Bombshell line, which were meant to be action-adventure romances, James Bond type stories where the heroine was the Bond character.

The line flopped badly for a lot of reasons, and the books I wrote never made any money, but I had a WONDERFUL time writing them and always wanted to do more. In fact, despite the books not doing well, despite it having been the better part of 12 years since they were published, despite everything, I’ve had readers ask regularly over the years if I ever *would* do more.

Well, there was a problem with doing more. It’s stupid and complicated but basically it goes like this:

I didn’t have the rights to publish the books myself. Those rights resided with Harlequin, because right-to-publish is basically what they’re buying when they give you advance money. And there’s always a clause in the contract that says under what circumstances those rights can revert to the writer, and what the publisher has to do in order to retain the rights. In these contracts, I wasn’t even supposed to ask for rights reversions for 5 years after publication, and the publisher had the right to reprint them within 18 months of me asking, if they so chose.

And those contracts were signed before the E-Book Revolution. So there was *no* language in them defining out-of-print in a world where e-books could be produced for almost nothing*…which meant that when the 5 year window *I* had to wait was up, they turned around and released e-books of the trilogy…which then sold basically No Copies At All, because they were under a different name, there was no demand for them, etc etc etc.

That happened two more times over the next EIGHT YEARS.

Now, there was no actual reason for the publisher to keep the rights. They were making no money off the books. They wouldn’t even re-release them under the CE Murphy name, where they almost certainly WOULD have made money. But every time I asked, they found another market to release them in as e-books, and thus re-started their 5 year window.

SO! The problem with writing more books in the series was that I could either:
1. write more books and NOT MENTION the first three, hoping that the lack of sales would someday allow me to get the rights back, or
2. write more books, talk up the first ones, try to get them selling, and therefore be certain I would *never* get the rights back, or
3. spend years gnashing my teeth and trying to get the rights back without talking about them very much, much less writing more.

I chose option #3 and my friends and family will attest to the SHEER FRUSTRATION I have vented over the past decade about the whole situation.

Eventually there were digital amendments added to the contracts, which gave me some of the language I needed to argue my case, and I put in Yet Another Reversion Request.

AND THIS TIME I GOT THEM BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mes amis, there was actual screaming involved. Like, fist-pumping foot-kicking incoherent bellows of joy. I kicked my feet so hard MY SOCK LITERALLY CAME OFF. I may have cried. I’m nearly crying right now, writing this blog post, in fact. I am SO HAPPY to have these books back and I am SO EXCITED to FINALLY GET TO DO WHAT I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO WITH THEM!!!!!!!!!!

I’m working on revising the original trilogy. Not LOTS of work, but some: updating the dated stuff (to my huge amusement, my heroine was carrying data around on a mini-CD, which was like the Height Of Awesome when I wrote the books *laughs and laughs and laughs*), trying to future-proof it a little, fixing some continuity errors, etc.

Once the revisions are done I’m going to run a Kickstarter for new cover art and book layouts. Kickstarter backers will get the revised books right away, and they’ll be re-released to the general public probably around the middle of next year.

Then over the next several years, I’m going to write the sequels on the side and run little Kickstarters for editing, cover art, layouts, etc. Backers will get the books more or less as they’re written (I’ll be doing the Kickstarters AFTER the books are written @.@) and eventually, when the entire series is finished, I’m going to do a year-long book-a-month release to put the whole story out almost in one big chunk.

I am SO EXCITED OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG I CANNOT WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIT I AM SO HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!! *KICKS SOCKS OFF AGAIN*!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*E-books cannot be produced for almost nothing up front. All of the heavy costs–paying the author, editing, cover art, book design, copy edits–still have to be done, and that costs money. However, in this case, because books had already gone through all of that, producing e-books was cheap and quick.