Indies have MADE my career. Without independent booksellers laying my books in their customers’ hands and saying, “Read this,” I’d have to go back to --ugh--lawyering.
Hey! I’m having an acknowledgement page in my next book for bookstores that sell more than 20 copies of To Darkness and To Death and send an e-mail letting me know. So you’re the guy I stole that idea from.
Yes, all my titles are taken from hymns. Of which "Kumbaya," thankfully, is not one. Episcopalians do not sing anything that can be accompanied by a guitar. In fiction, however, they do solve murders and tangle with handsome police chiefs. At least, the Reverend Clare Fergusson does.
My hero is a cop named Jack Daniels. She’s in her forties, divorced, has a train wreck for a personal life, but is great at catching criminals. She works in Chicago—I like the gritty urban setting to play against the laugh aloud humor in the books.
The fact that if I tried to write about Chicago, I couldn't fake my way out of a paper bag? I know small towns. As a writer, I love the intimacy that comes from having all my characters' lives intertwined. Really, when you think about it, we all wind up writing about "small towns." No matter how huge the environment, human beings organize themselves into smaller communities.
That’s why I love writing a series. My community is a cast of returning characters—Jack’s overweight partner, her ex-husband, her current boyfriend, her elderly mom, her cat, her friends—it’s so much fun to revist them and watch them grow.
Math has never been my strong point, trust me. But my editor tells me the Millers Kill books have won, or been shortlisted for the Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, Dilys, Nero, Gumshoe, Barry, Macavity and Romantic Times RC Awards. And thanks to the remarkable efforts of independent booksellers the books have appeared on ABA Booksense, IMBA, and NEBA bestseller lists, and been selected as Booksense Picks. You?
I’ve been shortlisted for the Anthony, Macavity, and Gumshoe, and won a Derringer and a Love Is Murder award. But more important than any award is hearing from readers. I get about 50 emails a week from fans, many of whom were hand sold by independent booksellers. WHISKEY SOUR was a Booksense Pick, a Booksense Hit, and twice an IMBA bestseller.
Oh, yes, Suzanne Toren’s Sound Library performances are terrific!
I tend to get compared to Dana Stabenow and Nevada Barr, who write incredibly realistic and daunting outdoor settings, and to Deborah Crombie, whose sleuthing pair has a tortured and tumultuous romantic relationship. In other words, cold hands, warm heart.
Jacqueline Daniels will be back in RUSTY NAIL, coming in June from Hyperion Books (available through Time Warner books and all distributors) and Brilliance Audio.
The next Millers Kill book, ALL MORTAL FLESH (ditto on distributors), is Minotaur’s hardcover lead title for September. And I’m contemplating a new series in romantic suspense. I was raised on romance novels, a fact I am publicly proud to proclaim.