Monday, March 11, 2013

Ghost for Hire release date and title!

I have the title for the first Jensen Murphy: Ghost for Hire book, as well as the release date!

February, 2014
ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG

We're going with the idea of older songs for titles. I can't tell you what I've submitted for the next two books, but I'm crossing my fingers they'll be approved. :)

If you didn't get a chance to read about the conception of this new series back in late 2011, I'm reposting it...with a few of the details I never got to divulge. Now that the book is on its way to the shelves, I can tell you everything. :)


"Conception of an Idea

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.

As a superstitious person, I'm not going to spill the beans about just what it is. But I will tell you it's a ghost story (Whoo! Love!) and it's an urban fantasy (Double whoo!).

How did this one happen? Well, 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.

Then the idea started to get fleshed out in my head. The next morning, I just happened to have breakfast with my Ace editor, Ginjer Buchanan, and I pitched the idea to her. She wants a proposal. :)

Fingers crossed, you all. I hope to have an outline and three chapters done by the end of the year!"

As it turned out, I did sell this series. I wrote the first book. Now I'm writing the second, but here are the filled-in blanks...

"As a superstitious person, I'm not going to spill the beans about just what it is. But I will tell you it's a ghost story (Whoo! Love!) and it's an urban fantasy (Double whoo!)."
Here's a brief blurb of what you can expect: Twenty-three-year-old Jensen Murphy was murdered decades ago, and she has just been pulled out of limbo by a justice-seeking medium who wants to use her to haunt humans, getting them to confess to crimes d to a realm where ghosts just want to have fun, she realizes that there’s more to haunting than just scares and boos--anthey might or might not have committed. But as this 1980s SoCal girl gets acclimated that humans can be just as dark as some of the spirits who are attracted to otherworldly fresh meat like her...
And this...
"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 now have the freedom to be vague-free! After I mentioned THE CASES THAT HAUNT US book title and talked about the type of cases that John Douglas had profiled in it, Linda referred to the title and commented that people like OJ should be haunted. Immediately, I thought of a ghost who could work for an agency that sics ghosts on people who may or may not have committed a crime in order to mentally push them toward confessing or not confessing. The first book is sort of the evolution of that "agency," with the medium acting as a liaison between the "clients" and Jensen, the first ghost.

Out of one little comment a world can be born. If you're a writer, you know that you frequently inhabit a storyland, where something you see or hear or experience triggers something bigger. It could be a song. It could be an older story, like THE WIZARD OF OZ, that inspires you to twist it around and make it your own. It could be a sound you hear on TV that fleshes out your world in a direction you didn't expect. This series came out of a conversation that followed another conversation, and in addition to Linda, I plan on thanking the other author who started the discussion about the death penalty (after I contact her to see if putting her name out there is okay), too!

Ah, the writer's life. Gotta love it.

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