Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Space Between

I've had a bit of an odd feeling recently. Most people are aware that the fourth Henry Parker novel, THE FURY, was originally slated to come out in March (last month), but was pushed back to October. Nevertheless, I am often reminded that not all my readers follow this blog or all the other time-wasting social networking sites that drain my soul. Other the last month I've received a lot of emails all basically saying, "Uh, at the end of THE STOLEN, the teaser chapter says THE FURY will be out in March. What happened?"

Well, suffice it to say THE FURY did not come out in March. Because THE FURY was written as the first part of a two-book series, my publisher decided to push both books back and release them in a short time frame to increase shelf presence and hopefully maximize publicity. So THE FURY will be out in October, and the fifth Parker novel, THE DARKNESS, will be out in December. I took great pains to make sure each book could be read individually, but I'd be lying if I didn't say the books were meant to be read in order. I certainly hope that's how most people read them.

Now, I'm not sure if this is possible for someone who's contracted to write two books a year, but I'm getting a little stir crazy. Because I had three books out out in the span of thirteen months, I was getting used to the rapid publication schedule. I loved the entire process. Loved seeing new cover concepts, loved writing and revising back cover copy, and loved talking about the books to anyone who would listen. But after those three books in thirteen months, it will now be fourteen months between releases (from THE STOLEN in August '08 to THE FURY in October '09). So I've found myself getting kind of antsy. Because I wrote THE FURY during my original publication schedule, the book was done, copyedited and proofed months ago (I believe that process was finished in October '08). Galleys should be in around mid-May. The last few months I've been working full-tilt to finish up THE DARKNESS, a process that wasn't easy considering I was also recovering from major spine surgery.

Two weeks ago, I turned in the final draft of THE DARKNESS. I should see copyedits some point over the next two months. In between, though, I've been slowly getting to work on the sixth Parker novel (tentatively titled THE INVITED), while also working on a side project (close followers of this blog and my Twitter feed know what I'm talking about. No, it's not a Parker novel. It's not even a crime novel.). I'm so excited for the next two Parker novels come out, but since that's not for another five and a half months I need to pace myself. I don't want the books to come out and feel like my excitement has dwindled. It shouldn't. I honestly feel like these two books are the best in the series so far, and every time I tell people what they're about I get goose bumps. They're the most personal books yet for Henry, as well as the most timely and intricate stories. The first early reader who finished THE DARKNESS actually cried. Call me a sadist, but that made me smile.

So for now, it's back to work on Parker #6. Strange feeling to be working on the sixth book in a series nearly six months before the fourth even comes out. I'll plow through, though, because I have enough on my plate to keep me excited, enough ideas for future Parker novels, and one or two more ideas that have really inspired me lately.

I should also have final cover art for both THE FURY and THE DARKNESS soon. I can't wait to share them, as they might be my favorite covers yet.

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