I can finally announce that I sold a new series to Ace!
From Publisher's Marketplace:
Chris Marie Green (AKA Christine Cody)’s “Jensen Murphy: Ghost for Hire” series in a three-book deal with Penguin. The urban fantasy trilogy features a justice-seeking spirit who takes on assignments to haunt/punish humans for the crimes they have committed. Editor: Ginjer Buchanan, agent: Pamela Harty of The Knight Literary Agency.
Back in October, I blogged about how this idea came about...
Sometimes ideas for new books/series are slow in coming. They evolve, pieced together bit by bit--a magazine article here, an experience you've had in life there...
And one day, it coalesces, and you flesh it out until it's ready to hit your editor's desk.
Then there are some ideas that run you over like a freight train.
That's what happened to me last week, while I was at the World Fantasy Con in San Diego....
My fellow paranormal writer Linda Thomas-Sundstrom and I were having lunch with a wonderful fantasy author who shall remain anonymous when we got into a powerful conversation about the death penalty. When Linda and I were walking back to the workshop area, we exchanged thoughts, as you do, then veered into a related subject: true crime books, like the ones written by Ann Rule. I asked Linda if she had read any John Douglas books, in particular THE CASES THAT HAUNT US. I told her about the stories in it--Jon Benet Ramsey, Jack the Ripper, OJ Simpson.... Linda paused, then referred back to the title of the book as well as our main topic, saying something that jerked me toward this new idea (and, yes, I am remaining vague here on purpose. ).
I blurted out the concept of the book, because it was triggered that quickly, and Linda and I stared at each other for a second then started laughing maniacally. She said jokingly, "If you use that, you have to acknowledge me." I said I would dedicate the book to her, LOL.
What Linda said, after I repeated the name of the John Douglas book, THE CASES THAT HAUNT US, was "People like that *should* be haunted."
And that's when I immediately pictured a ghost who works with an organization/agency that hires out spirits to exact vengeance on people who might be guilty of committing a crime. Boom--just like that. While I was walking home that day, I kept stopping, whipping out my notebook and fleshing out this ghost character, Jensen Murphy. She's a ghost who died in the 80s, and I kept picturing her, not as a Valley Girl, but more as one of those cool heroines from a 70s or 80s horror movie, like Sue in CARRIE or Ginny in the second FRIDAY THE 13th flick. Also, I knew I wanted to set the action in Southern California, and I thought of Elfin Forest in North County--the perfect place for Jensen to die.
(If you don't believe me, do a search on Elfin Forest. Perfect!)
I'll be working on this project after summer, since I've got other books to finish before then. Until that time, though, there just might be another big announcement coming down the pike. In fact, I guarantee it!
So stay tuned....