Hurray! Yippie! I’m Published!

After years of work, it’s finally happened. I submitted my first manuscript in 2005. (It was mediocre) I wrote a couple more books. My work improved a lot. I signed the contract with my publisher 18 months ago. Of course, the work didn’t end there, it just shifted gears. Now, my 2nd book is under contract and I’m writing my 4th. But for me, today is a real milestone.

 

The Tugboat Murder

I’m super excited that my publisher has agreed to release The Tugboat Murder. To celebrate, and just because I tend to nerd out a bit about these books, I’ve made a Pinterest board devoted to Tugboats and themes around the book.

The images don’t attempt to tell the story, rather, I’m trying to capture the mood around the story. Check it out if you’re interested 🙂  http://pin.it/zIBC2sm

Seattle in the mid 1950s, a warm summer night, and a charming red old tugboat…

The task of editing…

Editing one’s own stuff can be fun. It can also be tedious. But if you’ve been at it for months on end, it can also begin to feel like you’re falling into an endless vortex of words.

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Cali the Comet

Magnolia’s Fantasy Streets

When researching my 1950s era books, I’m always referring to my old Seattle map. A few weeks ago, I posted a map-mystery about some Seattle streets that have disappeared, but my old map also shows several streets that never even existed.

Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood is a peninsula northwest of downtown. Per my 1950s era Kroll Map, Magnolia’s footprint was expected to balloon out several blocks into Elliott Bay and Puget Sound. My map shows that future fantasy expansion complete with streets names.

I’m not sure if they planned to wash away the Magnolia hillside (that’s what happened to Seattle’s Denny Regrade neighborhood) but whatever they were planning, all that remains is an old map showing the streets and avenues of a future that never happened.

The Publishing Process

I’m new to publishing. Even though I’m currently writing my 5th book, the Hatbox Murders will be the first one published.

Over a hear ago, Barking Rain Press assigned me to a wonderful editor, and we spent 6 months going over the manuscript. We did 3 complete in-depth passes. After that, two more editors came on board and we all went through it again.

I thought the editing was finished. Silly me. I just received the final “Final foJennifer Berg mystery writerr Print,” proof. Now, there are 5 of us on the project, all reviewing the Hatbox Murders cover-to-cover.

It really helps me appreciate (and maybe even dread 😉 all the work that goes into a traditionally published book.

And it keeps me really, really busy.

The Tugboat Murder

img_5744I confess that I’m a picky reader, but I don’t think I’m alone.

To help folks decide whether or not they like the Elliott Bay Mysteries series, I’m including a freebie. The Tugboat Murder is only 15K words, so it’s somewhere between a short story and a novella. But it’s a single crime that’s solved over a single weekend (in 1950s Seattle, or course) so I’m calling it a “Mini-Mystery.”

My wonderful publisher, Barking Rain Press, is prepping it now and The Tugboat Murder should be available, totally free, on their website by the end of March.

Read what you love, especially if you love mysteries!

 

 

The Tugboat Murder: a novelette

photos-from-jennifers-phone-087When my editor and I finished working on my first book it disappeared into the design process I began to wonder how I could help mystery fans decide whether or not my work fit their interests. After all, there so many types of mysteries, and I don’t want anyone spending their time or money on books that aren’t actually their style.

To that end, I wrote a 15 thousand word “mini mystery,” called The Tugboat Murder. It’s a single mysterious murder and the whole story takes place over a weekend. More importantly, it will give curious mystery lovers a chance to sample my storytelling. It will soon be available, free and in its entirety, on the Barking Rain Press website.

Book Cover Art

I’ve just reviewed 2 more artist’s concept sketches for my upcoming book. Originally, I thought THE HATBOX MURDERS would be an easy cover. After all, it’s got two main characters, a hatbox, and it’s set in the 1950s.

But each sketch goes in a completely different direction from what I had been imagining. They’re unexpected but also very cool, and I can can only guess what the finished art will look like.

At the end of the day, I’m neither the artist nor the publisher, but it will be fun to see what Barking Rain Press and the artist come up with for my book! I love the old covers for Rex Stout, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers, but I’m not sure if they would fit the contemporary mystery market. Here’s the Pinterest board I’ve created for Mystery Retro Book Covers: http://pin.it/J0RjENY

Welcome to my blog!

This is where I share my love of classic mysteries, my work as a mystery writer, some random stuff, and a bit about my dog. Do you love sleuths, detectives, clues, and puzzles? If so, you’re in good company!

I love comments, so please feel free to add your thoughts, follow me on social media, or just browse around. 🙂

Advanced Readers Copies

photos-from-jennifers-phone-019-2Sometime this month, I should receive ARCs from my publisher. It will be the first time I see the Hatbox Murders in print — if you don’t count the half dozen times I printed the book loose-leaf at staples so I could edit the whole thing before showing it to anyone. This time, everything will be (should be) polished and presentable.

If I’ve learned anything from the book industry so far, it’s been that publishing keeps its own pace, and that pace isn’t committed to speed.

So, I’m waiting patiently, but I’m very excited.