Northern Comfort, which was released July 19, is my 13th book published thus far. Looking at this baker’s dozen of novels on my Amazon author page’s bookshelf makes me feel pretty darn good.
It all began February 2016 with the self-publication of my bilingual kids’ book, The Cousins and the Magic Fish/Los primos y el pez mágico, which is in paperback format only. (Thanks to my dear author friend, Teresa Dovalpage who did the Spanish translation.) This book even won a Zia Book Award the following year from the New Mexico Press Women. At the time we were both living in Taos.
The truth is I had a stack of eight completed books at that time. I started writing novels for adult and young readers around 2000 but, alas, I had no luck finding a publisher for any of them. I even had two agents. So with the encouragement of others, I self-published Peace, Love, and You Know What in April 2016. You can imagine what that book’s about — life in the early ’70s following a raucous three-day party by college friends.
Then the following February I self-published The Sweet Spot, the first one set in the fictional hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. I also self-published a Kindle-only collection of short stories, Professor Groovy and Other Stories. Sales were lousy. I didn’t know how to promote them properly. But for me, these books meant I was a published author, a good feeling for certain.
It was a fortuitous when I finally found a publisher in November 2017. Laurence and Steph Patterson of Crooked Cat Books — now called darkstroke books — read Chasing the Case, the first in the Isabel Long Mystery Series, and liked what they read. I had actually started the series when Hank and I still lived in New Mexico and by time I queried, we were again living in Western Massachusetts. I had also finished the second in the series, Redneck’s Revenge.
Then I submitted two more not in the series to darkstroke: The Sacred Dog and Northern Comfort, which are not part of the series but are what I call my Hilltown Books. I am grateful for the support and interest the Pattersons have in my writing.
Northern Comfort is a dark drama. A child’s death has a powerful impact on his mother, the man involved in the accident, and the father who abandoned him. I chose the bleakest time of year — mid-winter — to tell this story. I include those New England traditions of playing old-time music, maple sugaring, and, yes, hope.
It’s $2.99 on Amazon for Kindle. Paperback readers will need to wait a couple of months.
So what’s ahead? Well, I still have five completed books percolating in my computer. One is an adult novel. Two are part of the Twin Jinn Series (the first The Twin Jinn at Happy Jack’s Carnival of Mysteries I self-published in 2021) and two in The Cousins/Los Primos Series.
As for the Isabel Long Mystery Series, I am oh-so-close to calling it a wrap. I am making the last changes before I submit Missing the Deadline to darkstroke books — no. 7. My mind is already thinking about the eighth. But before that happens I am writing a sequel for The Sacred Dog. It’s called The Unforgiving Town. No spoilers here.
A sincere thanks those who have read my books. I do enjoy sharing what I write. Your support is so important.