The month of January is nearly past, and it seemed an appropriate time to update you on the latest news connected to my writing. As you can tell from the above title, this year is going to bring about a few new things.
While this blog was started to talk about writing on my novels, I have long been a playwright, and that work continues. One of the companies that I have had a long affiliation with is Smile Theatre. This company brings professional theatre with full costumes, sets and, professional actors and stage management into seniors facilities. The company has been active for over 50 years, serving seniors who love theatre, but can no longer get out due to physical limitations.
My partner and I had been commissioned to write a new piece for the company in 2019, but the pandemic put a long pause on the process. This year we were able to get back into the rehearsal hall and workshop our new script for 3 days with an incredible trio of actors. The new show is called The Detective Disappears.
The photo above may make the work look fairly formal, but as you can see from the pictures below, the piece is filled with silliness and joy. The Detective Disappears tells the tale of Sherlock Holmes, Dr John Watson and Mrs Martha Hudson at a later stage in their lives. They now reside in 221A Baker Street (as the gents can’t easily make the stairs up to 221B anymore). On the day of Sherlock Holmes’ 76th birthday, he disappears, leaving Dr Watson and Mrs Hudson to solve the case. The show features a cast of zany characters, 9 original songs, and a lot of laughter.
This musical comedy explores how we cope when things that we are used to disappear from our lives, and also how relationships change with age. The plan is that Smile Theatre will tour the play in the fall of 2023. I’ll keep you posted.
In August of 2023, Pride Publishing will release my second novel titled Mann Hunt. This is the first book of the three part Declan Hunt Mysteries. I know I have mentioned this book before, but as the book gets closer to release, things are getting real. The cover art for the book is being created, the editor is working on the manuscript, and pre-marketing on the book is only a few months away. For those of you who are wondering, Mann Hunt WILL be available on Kindle Unlimited.
Here’s a brief description …
Declan Hunt is having a bad week. The kidnapping case he is working on is showing little progress, his office assistant has left him on short notice, and his latest investigation has left him literally battered and bruised. But things change when he hires twenty-four year old Charlie Watts to help out at the office. They form an unlikely partnership trying to solve two seemingly unrelated cases whose threads begin to weave together when the missing person case turns to murder.
The investigation takes them from the dark alleys, gay bars and bath houses of Calgary, to the richest parts of the city during the world-famous Calgary Stampede.
But will they be able to discover who the killer is before another life is lost? And will Declan be able to solve the mystery of his relationship with Charlie who is clearly attracted to him — especially since it is evident that the attraction is becoming mutual?
This book combines all of the elements of a traditional whodunnit with an evolving relationship at the core of the story and plot twists and turns that will keep you guessing. I’ll let you know when I’m allowed to release the cover of the book and share information on the official launch date.
My first novel The Woodcarver’s Model continues to be well received with reviews continuing to come in. Another sign that the novel is gaining wider acclaim is the fact that libraries across Canada are beginning to purchase the book and make it available for readers free of charge.
The Halifax Public Library system is the latest to stock the book thanks to a reader request.
Access to the book through libraries is important to an author for a few reasons. First of all, it provides access to the work for those that don’t have the means to purchase a copy. But it also boosts the credibility of the novel. There is also a royalty program in Canada for authors whose books are loaned through libraries. The more libraries that carry the book, the more access people will have to it, and I see a small royalty at the end of each year.
If you want to find out how to encourage your local library to order a copy, put a note in the comments. Requests must be made locally and you must have a library card. So far the book is available through the library system in Edmonton, Toronto and Halifax. I’d love to see the book go further, so do drop a line if you want to find out how to get the book in your local library.
While the writing is finished (well, except for some editing) for The Detective Disappears and Mann Hunt, 2023 will involve writing on two new projects.
The first is a youth novel called Not Not Normal, which has a full draft, but I am revising it prior to submitting it to the publisher. This project took shape last year, after the acquisitions editor for a Canadian publisher saw The Woodcarver’s Model and got in touch to see if I would be interested in writing a shorter novel for their company.
The project got stalled last year as I did a complete rewrite on Mann Hunt, and got the script ready for The Detective Disappears. I am now focusing my energies on this project and in the upcoming weeks, I plan to finish my revisions and get it to the publisher by the end of February.
After that … it is time to work on the second book in the detective series. While the titles are VERY fluid right now, you are the VERY FIRST to hear that the working title for the second book in the series is …
The novel will continue to follow Declan Hunt as he deals with the death of a romance writer in Drumheller, Alberta. His relationship with his partner Charlie Watts will continue to evolve in this taut thriller. I have a rough shape for the novel, characters, locations and scenes sketched out. And I will start to work in earnest on the piece as soon as Not Not Normal is submitted. Immoral Hunt should be released early in 2024 depending on how the writing goes and of course, the editing process and the desired release date of the publisher.
All work and no play leads to fatigue and a lack of inspiration, so I will continue to write, but Scott and I hope to take a trip to Greece in the spring. We will blog about our travel adventures on our travel blog at Fenton & White. If you have any hot tips on the best places to go, feel free to leave those in the comments.
Thanks for reading, and I hope that wherever you are, that books give you joy and bring you comfort and allow your imagination to fly.
Until Next Time,
The Woodcarver’s Model is published through Pride Publishing.
To buy a copy click below